Dutchess is leading the Mid-Hudson Valley in daily COVID deaths and it looks like the situation is worsening.

Just two weeks ago, the Hudson Valley was shocked that Dutchess County reported three deaths within a week. This was the highest number of fatalities from the virus since April. Now things have become even worse, with 11 residents dying from COVID-related illness in the last 10 days.

From August 13 through August 23 the county has averaged over one death per day from COVID-19. During the same time period, Orange County has reported eight deaths and Ulster County has seen two people die from the virus.

New cases of COVID-19 have climbed in Dutchess County over the past month. At the end of July, there was an average of 20 new cases a day. Today that number is now at 77. With school starting up in just two weeks, state officials are scrambling to make sure local school districts do whatever they can to stop the spread to younger children, who are unable to get vaccinated. Unlike other strains of the disease, the Delta variant appears to have a much larger impact on children.

New data now shows that those who are vaccinated for COVID-19 are five times less likely to become infected by the Delta variant. More importantly, those who are unvaccinated are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized from the disease. These numbers are staggering and is the reason New York State officials are now preparing legislation that will make sure teachers, medical professionals and other people who deal with the public are fully vaccinated.

According to the Dutchess COVID-19 dashboard, 72.7% of the county's adult population have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That number is up from two weeks ago when just over 71% of adults were jabbed. With the Pfizer vaccine now officially approved, it's hopeful that those who were hesitant to receive the vaccine will now get in line to protect themselves and those they come in contact with.

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