Delaware County looks to boost lagging rate of vaccination

·3 min read

Oct. 14—The Delaware County Board of Supervisors held a quick meeting Wednesday, Oct. 13, where the board took steps to accelerate the county's lagging COVID vaccination rate.

The board unanimously approved accepting a federal public health grant in the amount of $108,527.63 to promote the COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to Colchester Town Supervisor and county budget officer Art Merrill, the grant will help pay to promote the vaccine by getting the word out and will help pay for more vaccines.

According to a media release by the Delaware County Public Health only 51.2% of Delaware County's residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

This is much lower than the state average of 72.2%, according to the New York state COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker website, and the neighboring counties of Broome (62.8%), Chenango (57.9%), Otsego (60.5%), Schoharie (54.8%), Greene (59.8%), Ulster (72.3%) and Sullivan (69.4%).

Delaware County remains at a "high level of community transmission," according to county Department of Public Health, which recommends people wear masks indoors in public places whether vaccinated or not. It also reminds people to wash their hands and practice social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.

"The majority of cases occurring are among unvaccinated individuals," the department's website notes, adding that the vaccines "are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating, including the delta variant."

To find a vaccination clinic, visit covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov or vaccines.gov

In other county business:

—The board accepted an emergency management performance grant from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in the amount of $22,516. This money will be used to buy inter-operable communications equipment for the emergency services department.

—The county approved a $5,000 grant from the Delaware County Rural Health Alliance to expand the Office for the Aging's Tai Chi for Arthritis program.

"This is a really popular program," Board Chair and Bovina Town Supervisor Tina Molé said. "There is usually a waiting list every time it's offered."

—The supervisors approved the Department of Public Works policy on snow plowing hours without discussion. County roads will be maintained from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. The highway crew will also respond after hours if called by the Delaware County Emergency Dispatch Center if there is an emergency such as an accident or fire.

The county will rent space from the town of Masonville to store a county snowplow and salt and abrasives at the town's highway garage from November through February for $3,600 per month. The contract may be extended past February if needed.

—The board approved a change order on the rehabilitation of the Knox Avenue Bridge in the hamlet of Downsville. The change order was needed because more traffic paint was needed at the construction site. The cost of the project — $848,224 — has not changed.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at vklukkert@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_VickyK on Twitter.

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