Virus-related 911 calls still coming in at high rate despite decline in Rockland County cases
Despite a thaw in COVID-19 cases in Rockland County, 911 calls related to the coronavirus are still coming in at a high rate.
Capt. Teresa Hamilton, of the Haverstraw Ambulance Corps, says nearly one year later, their emergency calls are still up by a third, and more than half of the calls are COVID-19-related.
"What it says to me is it's variation of area the north Rockland area, the Haverstraw area, is one of the highest COVID-related areas," says Hamilton.
Officials believe its directly related to the area's demographics. The community is predominantly Black and Hispanic, which are more vulnerable to the virus.
Last year the ambulance corps there responded to nearly 1,000 more calls than normal.
There was some relief last week after Haverstraw received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines for 250 people - with another 100 doses arriving this week.
While demographics are one factor, EMTs on the ground say it's not the only factor keeping COVID-19 alive.
"There's a lot of people that still don't think this is real. We see a lot of people who still don't take precautions, don't wear their masks, during the holidays had large get-togethers," says EMT Darline Nash.
The front-line worker is warning families not to give in to COVID-19 fatigue.
"People have to take precautions because it's still here, it's not going anywhere," says Nash.