Montgomery County COVID-19 numbers continue to decline

FONDA — After almost a year since Montgomery County has been coping with the impacts of COVID-19, officials say they’re stating to see “a light at the end of the tunnel.”

It’s almost been a year since the county had its first positive COVID-19 case and since the county and the rest of New York state shut down.

“We’re coming on a year since we’ve been doing this, and it’s certainly been a roller coaster in a lot of ways, a lot of ins and outs, and a lot of different issues to deal with at the time and we’ve really come together and persevered,” said Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort during the weekly briefing. “I certainly feel like the worst is behind us. We’re starting to see visitation in nursing homes. We’re starting to see a lift in restrictions in restaurants. We’re starting to visit how we’re going to transition back to normal life.”

Ossenfort said the seven-day rolling average is at 3.7 percent which is under four percent where the county would like to be, and for the first time in 2021, the county is under 100 positive virus cases for the week which was at 80 new positive cases.

At the beginning of January, Ossenfort said they were seeing numbers as high as 400 new weekly cases.

“I’m starting to really feel there’s some light at the end of the tunnel,” Ossenfort said.

He said the county is also starting to get in a higher quantity of vaccinations and will be getting 400 doses this week.

“We’re going to be able to request much large amounts…,” Ossenfort said. “The waitlist is still very large, we’re going to be doing a [clinic] — we had one [Monday] with 300 doses, a smaller one [Tuesday] with 40 doses which we utilized some doses given to us from St. Mary’s.”

Ossenfort said said an increase in the number of vaccinations they county receives is “very positive news.”

“That is certainly things heading in the right direction,” he added.

Other good news Ossenfort shared is that high school volleyball, soccer and football will be starting this month, and for games outdoors, two spectators per athlete will be allowed.

However, indoors, there are still no fans allowed.

“That’s good,” Ossenfort said. “I feel really good about where things are going.”

By Paul Wager