JAMESTOWN – The number of those hospitalized with COVID-19 nearly doubled this week in Chautauqua County; this as doctors at UPMC say more young people are getting sick.
Medical experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center held a press conference Thursday discussing the state of their hospitals across the region.
Dr. Rachel Sackrowitz, Chief Medical Officer of UPMC’s ICU Service Center, explained that the Delta variant, predominant in the communities that UPMC serves, poses a risk to children who are too young to benefit from vaccination.
“The average age of our hospitalized patients is almost a decade younger than when we were at the peak of last winter’s wave of COVID-19 in December 2020,” explained Dr. Sackrowitz. “This is concerning because these are people who have few other health issues and would otherwise be looking forward to many healthy years ahead. But the overwhelming majority have one thing in common: They are not vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Dr. Sackrowitz says those unvaccinated are 29 times more likely to contract the virus, over someone who is vaccinated.
Locally, the Chautauqua County Health Department reported 87 new cases of the virus on Thursday, with 24 people hospitalized. The number of hospitalizations doubled from the day before.
There are now 345 active cases countywide with 624 people in quarantine.
So far, New York State reports 52 percent of the county’s population, 67,500 people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.