I noticed that, for the first time in years, the COVID-19 by the Numbers update is not appearing each week in the paper.
First, thank you for keeping our communities informed about the impact of the pandemic in our backyard. Dropping the weekly update reflects that Philipstown and Beacon are in a better place now than even six weeks ago, with Putnam and Dutchess counties each having low transmission levels, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But the CDC also recommends staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses and, in that sense, we have a quiet crisis in Philipstown and Beacon: Less than 30 percent of the Philipstown population is up to date and in Beacon it’s less than 20 percent. To make matters worse, in the most vulnerable age group, those older than 55, less than 40 percent are up to date in Putnam and Dutchess counties. This means that more than 75 percent of Philipstown and Beacon residents are vulnerable to getting and spreading the virus.
Get boosted! Boosters prevent hospitalization and death. We can keep COVID-19 in check. Boosters are free until May 11, and then will be covered by most insurance. Also boosters are convenient at Drug World in Cold Spring and pharmacies in Beacon. See vaccine.gov.
Alan Brownstein, Cold Spring
Editor’s note: We are now publishing the update in the last issue of each month but updating the numbers weekly online.