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COVID-19 Tests Conducted In Albany, Colonie, Schenectady

Albany County COVID-19 tracking chart.
Albany County
Albany County COVID-19 tracking chart.

Public officials agree that testing is the key to helping New York re-open in the wake of COVID-19.
County Manager Rory Fluman says as of Monday afternoon, Schenectady has 336 positive cases, with 26 hospitalized and another under investigation.

"Our total quarantine numbers in Schenectady County is 660. Our total isolation numbers in Schenectady County are 232. As of today we've had 122 people recover form COVID-19, and sadly as of today we have 14 Schenectday County citizens that have passed away.”

Earlier, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced 656 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 with 784 people under mandatory quarantine and 38 people under precautionary quarantine. 1,555 people have completed quarantine, and 323 who had tested positive for the virus have recovered.

"The people that have completed quarantine stays the same right now, that hasn't changed since yesterday. We still have 35 people that are hospitalized. Out of that it's 5.34%, up from 4.9 yesterday. So that number changed a little bit. And we have nine adults that are currently in the ICU, that's up from seven yesterday."

McCoy added the death toll is now 23 after a man in his 70’s with multiple underlying health issues died Sunday.

Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center has had 18 residents test positive, along with seven employees in addition to one who has recovered and returned to work.

Across the river Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin says there are 196 positive cases, 64 of which have been "cleared." Three people are in the ICU, 14 total hospitalized...

"...and unfortunately eight folks have passed, three3 of those folks are at the Diamond Hill Nursing Home, which is unfortunately suffereing from an outbreak here where a couple of workers that were positive, maybe asymptomatic or whatever had happened there, but they kinda brought that in there, so we have 16 positives there and we have seven staff members there that have tested positive, three of whom live in Renssealer County."

McLaughlin says the state to date has provided only 200 testing kits, and more are needed. Back in Albany County, a drive-up COVID-19 testing site will open Wednesday in Colonie at Rite Aid on the corner of Central Avenue and New Karner Road. Town Supervisor Paula Mahan:

"We are the most densely populated town in the Capital Region with over 83,000 people. And 20% of our population are seniors. And they are, as we know, from the data, a very vulnerbale population."

Mahan adds the testing availability will "give people peace of mind."

There is another drive-up testing site at the University at Albany and four walk-in sites throughout the county. All require an appointment.

Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen mentioned random antibody testing being conducted at area Price Choppers by the New York State Department of Health. 100 volunteers were tested Sunday in Schenectady.

"That will let you know if you have antibodies to COVID-19. What antibodies to COVID-19 mean is that you have been exposed to the disease, and your system, your immune system, has created antibodies against it."

Whalen also sounded a warning:

"I don't think at this point the public should be relying on press conferences to make this, to think this is their only risk. People should be under the assumption that if they go to a grocery store, any large store, any public place, that you are surrently under risk and mitigate your risk the way you know how to do. Wear a mask. Make sure your hands are clean, and try to maintain social distance."

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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