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Image courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health

MALONE — A day after 211 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Franklin County, the more contagious omicron variant continues to increase the virus’ spread at a high rate, with 156 new cases logged Friday.

County Manager Donna Kissane reported 852 active cases Friday, up from Thursday’s case total of 814.

Kissane said 87 of the new cases reported Friday were identified by molecular PCR tests, while 69 new positive tests were identified by at-home test kits.

Kissane said community transmission in the county remains high.

According to Kissane, 63% of Franklin County’s population is fully vaccinated, and 67.4% of the county’s residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

A total 293 cases of COVID-19 were reported over the weekend, according to Kissane, who said 190 of the weekend’s case total were identified by PCR tests and 103 positive cases were identified by at-home test kits.

“While numbers of COVID-19 cases appear to be declining in the downstate area, the North Country continues to escalate,” Kissane said. “We have concern about increased hospitalizations that provide a huge strain on the ability to provide treatment to all people who need care. We ask our residents to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk and spread of the virus.”

According to the county’s COVID-19 guidance website, the positivity rate as of Tuesday is 15.30%, and the county’s seven-day average is 14.91%.

The county’s COVID-19 guidance website reports a total of 34 cases of COVID-19 in Malone’s three state prisons.

Bare Hill Correctional Facility is reporting seven cases; Franklin Correctional Facility is reporting 21 cases; and Upstate Correctional Facility has six cases.

Brendan White, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s director of communications, reported 12 new COVID-19 cases in the southern portion of Akwesasne on Friday. The new infections bring Akwesasne’s total active cases to 24.

“With the large number of cases due to the more contagious Omicron variant, healthcare systems and the contact tracing process has become overwhelmed across the region and state,” White said. “It is highly important that you self-report a positive result from a home test kit and to please stay home if you test positive to prevent community spread.”

St. Regis Mohawk Health Services is reporting 68.7% of eligible residents have received their initial vaccines as of Jan. 2, while 24.3% of eligible community members have received booster doses.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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