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Albany County’s COVID-19 March 31 Update

Tony Hynes, Dan McCoy, Dr. Elizabeth Whalen
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Tony Hynes, Dan McCoy, Dr. Elizabeth Whalen

During his daily update, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said Tuesday there are 210 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the county.

McCoy says 517 people are under mandatory quarantine with an additional 234 under precautionary quarantine. 19 are hospitalized.

"We got N95 masks out to the first, not just the first responders, working with Sheriff Apple, we gave them 8000 masks yesterday to 50% of them, primarily went to the hospitals, because they're low. So the hospitals got primarily bulk of the 8000. And the rest will be divvied out through the EMS community for first responders, and the packages he's putting together for police officers and taking care of them, so that makes sure when they have to go on a call and someone's been exposed or they have to take the proper steps. They had that kit."
McCoy says the New York National Guard has been delivering over 19,000 pounds of food donated by the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to families and residents quarantined due to possible exposure.
Cohoes-based PVA, a global supplier of automation equipment, recently said it would begin manufacturing ventilators for under $8,000 that are in short supply and are desperately needed.
PVA President and CEO Tony Hynes:

"We think in about two weeks’ time we'll be able to produce 100 a day. And once we have the manufacturing processes down and the design locked down we'll enlist then other manufacturing partners, both here in New York and anywhere in the country that will allow to manufacture this so that they can support their local communities also."
County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen says testing people in the community and social distancing are key. She declined to disclose specific locations where most of the county's documented cases appear.
 "At this point, since our testing has been limited, the geographic information we have on where tests are positive would not, in my opinion, be an accurate representation of where hotspots are. I would urge people to stay at home. That's the safest place to be is to be at home."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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