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Why are COVID cases spiking in the Finger Lakes and Upstate New York? Low vaccine rate, decrease in spring dosage effectiveness

There’s been a spike in COVID-19 cases across the Finger Lakes and Upstate New York.

But why?

The Finger Lakes currently has the highest positivity rate on a 7-day rolling average. Dr. William Valenti, a Staff Physician at Trillium Health tells News10NBC that there are three major reasons.

First, the Delta Variant of COVID, which is more contagious. Second is people gathering indoors more frequently than they did over the last several months as it gets cooler. And third, the fact that not enough people are vaccinated.

“The percentage of people fully vaccinated is around 65%, plus or minus, and I think we’re learning that it’s gonna take more people to be vaccinated probably 80 to 90%. I think closer to 90% of people fully vaccinated in order to really stop the virus spread,” Valenti explained to News10NBC.

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza explained it another way.

“We are seeing an increase in numbers which I attribute to, you know, a decrease in vaccine effectiveness,” he said. That impacts a ‘small but significant’ number of people in the population, but can be enough to drive COVID infection rates upward.

What happens over the next 2-3 weeks will be telling, health experts warn. With Thanksgiving now less than two weeks away, many families will be gathering – and this could mean more COVID positive cases looking into the start of December.

As for precautions, Valenti says the same old tricks that worked at the start of the pandemic will work now.

“Wear a mask, and do some distancing. It isn’t over yet. We can do it. We really can, but these sort of change in seasons, having a better understanding of how the virus is spread tell us that we’re not there yet,” he added.

Experts also say if you’re eligible for a booster shot – now is the time to get it.

Categories: HealthNews