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Schenectady County Reports 279 COVID Cases; Another Saratoga County Death Blamed On Virus

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The coronavirus epidemic continues to take its toll.
Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman took to Facebook Friday morning to give an update on the pandemic and its impact.

"As of late yesterday, because it's only 10 a.m. now, our positive COVID-19 cases in Schenectady County was 279. The number of people we have quarantined is 612. Isolations are 160 and recoveries from COVID-19, these are people that have been tested positive, who had COVID-19 who are now well and recovered is 83."

Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order that everyone should wear masks in public becomes effective Friday at 8 p.m.

"Buying that grocery from Price Chopper, or getting a cup of coffee from Stewart's, that is the situation where you need to wear a mask. Going onto a bus, yourself should have a mask, the provider of the bus should have a mask with the driver, a train, a cab, an Uber, all of those situations are places where both the rider and the driver would have to have a mask."

Fluman notes that there are various types of masks.

" N95s. Those are the ones that healthcare providers would wear inside an isolation and quarantine unit, where they know they're working with a person who has COVID-19. Many of our first responders have those masks up is intermittently. They may be responsible for serving somebody very quickly who has COVID-19, and so many of those folks have a mask and then there are surgical masks. There are masks that you can make it home. You know, you would see from the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago. People would tie shirts and rags over their face. The Centers for Disease Control actually has a spectrum of appropriateness of masks and when in pandemic times which we are now it is OK to use whatever level mask that you have access to."

For those lacking the wherewithal to otherwise obtain a mask, Fluman says call the county's Office of Public Health.

Area code 518-386-2824 option number four. That's our Public Health call center. If you were to call into there and explain your situation that you needed a mask. We could either mail or deliver you a mask. That's what we've been doing.” Elsewhere, a seventh Saratoga County resident, a 91-year-old woman, died of COVID-19. The county is reporting 253 confirmed cases with 14 hospitalizations. In Albany County 34 people are hospitalized. County Exec Dan McCoy:

"As of today, we have 574 positive cases and we have 716 people under mandatory quarantine 49 people under precautionary. And if you look at this way as its numbers yesterday, we had 1370 people have completedy quarantine, there were 282 that were positive out of that batch that have recovered also. Yesterday. We had 563. So if you see the numbers, really didn't go up that much since yesterday, which is a good sign. Are we plateaud are people paying attention? Staying home, doing the right things. It's working people. It's working!"

Twenty Albany County residents have died. And six Rensselaer County residents have died. There are 169 cases there.

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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