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Albany County: Donations Arrive As COVID-19 Numbers Increase

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy gives his daily COVID-19 update (April 2, 2020)
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy gives his daily COVID-19 update (April 2, 2020)

In Albany County there are now 238 positive cases of COVID-19, with 401 people under mandatory quarantine and 202 people under precautionary quarantine.    Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says Thursday 27 people are hospitalized, with 12 adults in the ICU.
Donations have been coming in to assist health officials. He says Regeneron donated over 500,000 test kits to the state Wednesday with more to come. "We have tested over 3,704 people, right? So we do need to do more tests to understand the extent of the spread of this virus."
McCoy says if testing were being done at the levels it was two weeks ago, the county would likely have more than 500 cases today.
McCoy also thanked Ford Motor Company for donating medical supplies: Ford spokesman Jim Newton tells WAMC the automaker began producing face shields last week at its California and Michigan plants.  "I was involved in some of the prototyping as were a lot of other groups, some in Dearborn, some out here in Palo Alto, and we came up with a design that we could manufacture in large quantities and very, very quickly and get them out to people that needed them. We've delivered over 200,000 face shields so far."
Albany Med has received 4000 to-date. St. Peter’s Health Partners has received 3000, and Newton says more will be shipped.
Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen offered residents words of encouragement:  "Those of you that are home. I know it's difficult. I know it's difficult to be cooped up with family, but it's necessary. And we can all try to do what we can with the moment that we have and continue to move forward day by day with this."
McCoy again expressed dismay that too many residents are driving around, shopping in groups, playing sports, and not heeding the call to stay home.   "COVID-19 is here, it's going to be around and we're going to continue to address this and change the way we operate. The world around us has changed. That's I tell everyone take a deep breath, take a step back, reevaluate yourself and remember what you do today; you'll be judged tomorrow. So four months from now, after this is over, when we kind of get back to the new way life's gonna be for us, don't be that person saying saying I coulda shoulda woulda, I wish I acted differently, I wish I was a better neighbor. Be the good residents of this county that I know you are and let's take care of one another.”
McCoy joins other leaders in warning that if people continue to ignore rules about staying home and practicing social distancing, there will likely be consequences.   "I'm hoping that these press conferences get people to stop doing that. And it was the same thing that you saw the governor have with playgrounds in New York City. You know, I mean, just unfortunately, that's what it takes. I think it was one of the, I was watching news last night, and they had to keep going to UAlbany twice to kick people out that were playing basketball and tennis. It's like, when are people going to wake up?"

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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