ELIZABETHTOWN — The Essex County Health Department on Friday reported a COVID-19 death in a non-resident who had traveled to the area to visit family.
The person was unvaccinated and had other risk factors for severe COVID.
"While this death will not be included in the Essex County death totals, we wanted to share this information with the community because ECHD was monitoring this case and their close contacts," the health department said.
ECHD also shared data about breakthrough infections, cases that occur among fully vaccinated people.
Of the 708 positive COVID cases in the county since Jan. 17, 2021, 17 have been breakthrough cases.
"Of these 17 cases, five were asymptomatic, 11 had mild symptoms and one was treated in the emergency department, but has since recovered," ECHD said.
"Another way to look at this data is that, of 21,799 fully vaccinated Essex County residents, 17 (less than 0.10%) have since tested positive for SARS-CoV-2."
The breakthrough cases have occurred with all three vaccines currently authorized for use in the United States, ECHD said.
“Our local data confirms that breakthrough cases are uncommon, accounting for less than 3% of total cases since vaccinations began,” Essex County Director of Public Health Linda Beers said in a statement.
“Concerns over the Delta variant are valid, given that this strain appears to be causing more breakthrough infections than others; however, most of these infections are mild and the vaccines are still working very well at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death.
"So our message continues to be: get vaccinated, it’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you."
ECHD offers COVID vaccinations at its Elizabethtown office on Mondays and Fridays. Information on how to pre-register for those clinics as well as other vaccine resources are listed on page A8.