Westchester County expects to have a majority of its nearly one million residents vaccinated before the end of next month.
County Executive George Latimer made the projection based on the latest vaccination numbers provided by New York State this week that revealed that 24.4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. Between 38 and 39 percent of Westchester’s population are fully or partially vaccinated, the latter as a result of residents having received the first shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
The percentage is based on 967,000 residents, the number of people who lived in the county as of the 2010 Census. It is expected that the population will be close to one million when the 2020 Census is released.
“The numbers are good,” Latimer said. “Obviously, we hope they get better and I hope that by the end of May we’ll see our numbers reach the 50 percent mark, perhaps the 60 percent mark and reach that point where every person that wants a vaccination will be able to get one here in Westchester County.”
While there has been steady progress in the county regarding vaccinations, there was much more modest headway made on reducing the active caseload. As of Wednesday, there were 5,712 cases in Westchester, down 236 from last weekend, Latimer said. The number has been stuck between the low and high 5000s since early March.
More encouraging news has been a continued slow decline of COVID-19 hospitalizations, which fell to 235 as of Tuesday, he said. By comparison, there were 1,107 hospitalizations on Apr. 8, 2020, during the darkest early days of the pandemic locally.
Fatalities in Westchester attributed to COVID-19 have reached 2,221 after there were two more deaths overnight on Wednesday. During the past week there have been 18 fatalities.
For the first time in a few weeks on Wednesday, the seven-county Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester, Putnam and Rockland, did not have the highest positivity rate in the state. Western New York, which includes Buffalo, and Long Island were at 4.8 and 4.3 percent, respectively, according to the state’s tracker. Mid-Hudson was next at 3.7 percent.
Westchester’s positivity rate fell to 2.8 percent on Wednesday with Putnam at 5.5 percent and Rockland at 4.6 percent.
For information on eligibility and vaccination sites, the public may call 1-833-697-4829 or visit https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/