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COVID cases on the rise in Finger Lakes: Vaccine rates stuck with 20-40% still unvaccinated

Throughout the Finger Lakes region there has been a well-documented spike in COVID-19 cases.

Last week Ontario and Wayne counties reported some of their highest numbers to date in the pandemic. In nearby Cayuga County, which is technically located in Central New York’s reporting district, a similar situation is unfolding- with rising positive cases.

Health officials say part of the issue is a lack of full-vaccination. Whether that be caused by vaccine hesitancy, or by springtime vaccines no longer being effective – booster shots and full-immunity are being recommended.

Especially heading into the Thanksgiving travel week.


Here’s how the rate of vaccination looks among Finger Lakes counties (as of November 20 – people with at least one dose):

Cayuga: 59.1%
Ontario: 80%
Schuyler: 67.6%
Seneca: 60.2%
Tompkins: 83.2%
Wayne: 77.2%
Yates: 64.6%

Even in communities with the highest adoption rate of the COVID-19 vaccine, upwards of 15-25% of the population remains unvaccinated.

Health officials say that could prove deadly in the coming weeks.

“Extremely frustrating that we must spend so much time defending public health and practices to see false information and the fact that people believe it,” Wayne County Health Deputy Director Kerry Vanauken told News8 in Rochester.

Hospitals around the region are already pushing maximum occupancy. Lack of vaccinations, as well as continued spread of COVID-19 are two items that have made preparing for the holidays more stressful.



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