The first week of September has been a deadly one in the Mid Hudson Valley.

A staggering 29 people have died in one week. While that number is pretty stark, it is even worse when you consider that it is only a total of residents who died from COVID-19 related illnesses. As new cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported throughout the region, a steady number of patients have been dying. Sadly, doctors say that most of these deaths are now preventable, but vaccine hesitancy is creating a situation where even otherwise healthy people are suffering from this now-preventable illness.

Dutchess and Westchester counties both had had an exceptionally bad week, with nine residents dying from COVID-19 related illness between September 1 and September 7. In Ulster County, there were four deaths while both Orange, Rockland and Sullivan Counties saw two each.  Putnam reported one death this week.

New cases of COVID-19 have climbed throughout the region, especially in Dutchess County, where at the end of July, there was an average of 20 new cases a day. Today that number is now at 100. With school beginning this week, state officials are scrambling to make sure local school districts do whatever they can to stop the spread to younger children, who are unable to get vaccinated. Unlike other strains of the disease, the Delta variant appears to have a much larger impact on children.

New data now shows that those who are vaccinated for COVID-19 are five times less likely to become infected by the Delta variant. More importantly, those who are unvaccinated are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized from the disease. These numbers are staggering and is the reason New York State officials are now making sure teachers, medical professionals and other people who deal with the public are fully vaccinated.

According to the Dutchess COVID-19 dashboard, 74.5% of the county's adult population have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That number is up from last month when just over 71% of adults were jabbed. With the Pfizer vaccine now officially approved, it's hopeful that those who were hesitant to receive the vaccine will now get in line to protect themselves and those they come in contact with.

Hudson Valley COVID Infection Rates Compared to Last Year By County

Statistics show the delta variant of COVID-19 is infecting more Hudson Valley residents, despite people now being vaccinated.