BREAKING – EXCLUSIVE: The BA.5 COVID-19 Omicron variant appears to have established itself firmly in Allegany County as the number of new positives appeared to be increasing last week after a one-week decline.
New cases also continue to be at high levels over the same time last year, more than five times that of two weeks ago and over 11 times those of last week, with comparisons only available through Thursday.
The analysis comes from our ongoing Freedom of Information (FOIL) requests to Allegany County, NY. government, which it continues to require in order to obtain localized data of where new positives are occurring by geographic area.
The Allegany County Department of Health also reports that test sampling results from the state show one BA.4 virus result on June 19 and four sub-variants of the fast-spreading and nationally predominant BA.5 Omicron between June 29 and July 4.
We first reported last week the first confirmed case of BA.5, from a test collected on June 25 from a county resident.
Through Thursday, new positives were at 45, compared with 49 for the entire week before and 69 for the preceding seven-day period when the county experienced a post-July 4 weekend surge, nearly doubling the number of positives reported during the first full week of July.
New cases last week, through Thursday, indicated no significant concentrations in the county versus the prior week, with the most populated Wellsville zip code at six and all other locations being at three or less.
A chart of reports for the 12-day period through Thursday accompanies this story.
These totals, however, are considered to be significantly under-reported in that they don’t include home test results which aren’t followed by a provider confirmation or an online self-report to the county health department.
The totals for new positives each week have been running at several multiples above the same periods last year when there were zero to nine cases per week, including verified tests, from the middle of June through the first full week in August.
At that time, numbers started a sharp upward movement, which continued through the week after New Year’s when a slow decline began. The decrerases halted at several times above last year going into the summer.
This year’s new weekly positives have ranged from 33 to 69.
Hospitalizations, however, have remained low.
There have been no new COVID admissions to Jones Memorial Hospital since a week ago Friday.
There had been seven between July 19 and 25, at the rate of one or two a day, with one individual being in intensive care during that period.
Allegany County is continuing to request that those testing positive through self or home tests enter the information at https://bit.ly/3zymEWF to aid in better determination as to the number of cases in the county and their general locations.
Various online COVID-19 Trackers, information from which may not agree with each other due to different reporting time frames, are available at:
– Allegany County Daily Cases – Under COVID-19 Updates: https://bit.ly/3ndrbZJ.
– New York State Department of Health COVID Tracker: https://on.ny.gov/31K0u7f.
– CDC Counties COVID Tracker: https://bit.ly/3GrWqHx.
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