Delaware County: COVID-19 cases are increasing

Aug. 24—Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Delaware County.

"Delaware County has seen an increase in covid testing and positive test results in month of August," Heather Warner, public health programs manager Delaware County Public Health, said in an email.

Warner said the amount of testing being done has been "extremely low."

While the amount of testing has been low, the percentage of reported positive tests versus the numbered tested in Delaware County is the highest in the state according to the state Department of Health COVID-19 tracker website. For example, eight of the 11 people tested Aug. 22 tested positive, which equates to an 88.9% positive rate, the website said. The only tests reported to the state are those done at labs.

Warner said wastewater surveillance is another tool the county and the state use to monitor COVID-19. While only 14% of Delaware County's population is tested, it is in the higher populated areas of the county.

According to the state's COVID-19 wastewater surveillance website, samples taken from the Walton and Sidney wastewater treatment plants Aug. 16 tested high, while samples from the treatment plants in Delhi, taken Aug. 17, and Margaretville and Grand Gorge, taken Aug. 10, tested in the moderate range.

Warner said the "COVID-19 vaccination significantly lowers your risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death if you get infected and COVID-19 and your flu shot can be given at the same time." She also encouraged people to wear masks.

People will have to wear masks if they go to UHS Delaware Valley Hospital in Walton or any of the UHS primary or specialty care sites. UHS announced on its website Aug. 23, masks are once again required in all clinical areas at UHS Wilson Medical Center, UHS Binghamton General Hospital, UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital and UHS Delaware Valley Hospital, as well as primary and specialty care sites because of the uptick in cases.

The policy is in effect for all patients, visitors, employees, medical staff, volunteers, students and vendors, the release said. Masks are required at nurses' stations, at registration, at patient care units, provider's offices, lobbies, public hallways, stairwells, elevators, pedestrian bridges and cafeterias (with the exception of when eating or drinking).

If needed, free masks are available near the doors throughout the UHS facilities.

Gabrielle Argo, director of public relations at Bassett Healthcare Network, said in an email, "Right now, Bassett Healthcare Network is not requiring universal masking. However, if any areas of our buildings put isolation precautions in place and/or we are caring for patients with COVID-19, all employees and visitors in those areas are required to wear proper personal protective equipment, including masks."

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221.