New cases of the more transmissible, potentially more fatal Delta COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in the Hudson Valley.
Four cases were recorded during the second week of July in Rockland County, officials announced after being alerted by the New York State Department of Health on Tuesday, July 27.
The cases of the Delta variant were confirmed by the state through PCR testing.
“We suspected it was here," Rockland County spokesman John Lyon said, "but now it’s documented. We continue to urge people to get vaccinated if they have not done so already."
According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, more than 70 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the state have been linked to the Delta variant.
This week, Rockland County Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert cautioned that COVID-19 cases in the region have doubled in the past two weeks as the country contends with the variant.
The Delta variant has become a cause of concern for local, county, and state officials, as Cuomo announced that the Health Department would be enlisting five labs statewide to help speed up testing for variants.
Among the labs to begin ramping up testing for the Delta variant is the New York Medical College’s Genomics Core Lab in Valhalla.
“The Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread and infect overwhelmingly unvaccinated New Yorkers, and that's why it's vital that everyone who is able should take the vaccine right away," Cuomo said this week.
"Getting vaccinated helps not just you, but your friends, family and community. It is both easy to take and easily accessible in New York, so don't delay—get the shot as soon as you can.”
In Rockland County, there were 41 new positive cases Monday, compared to nine a week ago. There are now 156 active cases. Four people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
Cuomo said on Monday, July 26 that just 0.15 percent of vaccinated New Yorkers have been infected by the Delta variant and that vaccinations could reduce the risk of hospitalization by nearly 95 percent.
“Those who are vaccinated reduce the risk of hospitalization by 94 percent, so if you're vaccinated, you’re much less likely to get COVID to begin with, and if you get it, it’s not as severe and you’re not hospitalized,” he said during a briefing on Monday. “Those are the facts.
“What we’re looking at is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.