Albany County 3/27 COVID-19 Update
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said there were 176 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Friday. As the pandemic continues to spread, local leaders and organizations are trying to provide food and healthcare to a concerned public.
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through upstate New York, McCoy announced a new partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to ensure those who are quarantined have enough food.
"We're going to be running food at Times Union Center. And the National Guard has come in, they will be helping us so you'll be seeing presence of the National Guard starting here on Monday, to help deliver food in do some other stuff."
The downtown arena will serve as a hub for the food to be delivered, boxed and then shipped out to households with the assistance of the New York National Guard.
Two new members of the County Medical Reserve Corps – Registered Nurse Angela Sears and County Legislator and local Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school teacher Matt Miller – say they've been working to help keep residents calm and safe.
Sears said "I first started out returning phone calls for anyone calling to get the results. So anyone that either had it negative or the results weren't back yet. I was making those phone calls and there's a lot of people were tested. So there were a lot of people calling."
Miller said "When I started out, it was just doing that it was calling people on lists and tell them you have to go into quarantine. So it's a little scary for people. And then also saying to them, you know, people were calling in on their own saying, 'Hey, I was at this place Do I need to go into quarantine?' And telling them the same."
Albany County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen says she is still seeing groups of young people playing sports and hanging out.
"Whether you've been told you're on quarantine, or whether you are home, if your school has been closed, there's a reason for that. The reason for that is, is that we don't want kids close together. So, if your kids are saying they want to get together with friends, if they are saying they want to have sleepovers or play dates or hang out with a group, the answer should be no."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is aware of and keeping tabs on the situation.
"We're going to be keeping an eye on our playgrounds and our basketball courts all weekend. And I really hope that we don't have to take drastic measures. We really want people to follow the rules. Stay safe and keep everybody healthy."
And she announced Friday that the city is suspending time limits for metered parking spaces in the city.
McCoy says it was discovered Thursday 16 different households were not complying with quarantine orders, leading to law enforcement being sent to encourage compliance.