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COVID-19 Casts Shadow Of Uncertainty On Re-Starting NY

Screenshot from Albany County's COVID-19 Data Dashboard
Albany County
Screenshot from Albany County's COVID-19 Data Dashboard

Two people at an Albany County nursing home have died from COVID-19.
County Executive Dan McCoy says there have been two new deaths, bringing the total to 25.

"Both male, with undelying health conditions, and unfortunately it was at our Shaker Place Nursing Home. So, I went out there this morning, met with some of the workers, and talked, and it's not easy - they have a tough job."

Credit facebook
County governments including Albany (pictured here), Rensselaer and Schenectady, offer COVID-19 updates via Facebook.

22 residents and 10 employees at the Colonie facility have tested positive for the virus to date. One staff member recovered and returned to work.

There are now 678 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County. 54 people are under mandatory quarantine; 41 others under precautionary quarantine. 30 people are hospitalized.

Meantime, Republican State Senator George Amedore of the 46th District is among those calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to begin reopening business in New York.

"I believe opening up the economy invarious parts of the state will benefit the entire state. We need to slowly get our economy back an d moving again, moving forward, and get people back to work and help struggling small business owners."

Amedore believes the upstate economy could start reopening on May 1st. The governor's executive "PAUSE" order is in effect through May 15.

There now appears to be some wiggle room: During his daily briefing Tuesday, Cuomo said decisions to reopen business will be made on a regional basis based on each region's circumstances with regard to the virus. The governor says more than 90 percent of all confirmed cases in New York are downstate.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, a Democrat, is hopeful schools can reopen so students can finish out the term.

"At least for the last couple of weeks of the school year so that our children can have some closure, right? They went home thinking that they would be back in two weeks and obviously this crisis grew very rapidly and I think that for a lot of our students, being able to see their teachers again, and see their friends again, if it can be done safely, would be a huge benefit. I think that the governor is rally looking atthis through the lens of what the data shows us, and so we can hope for what we want, but ultimatley we have to look at the data, we haveto look at what's happening from our standpoint of being to test and do contact tracing, and make decisions based on that."

Meantime, Schenectady County reports 352 positive cases as of Tuesday with 686 quarantined and 201 isolated. There have been 14 deaths in the county.

Albany County has gone live with a COVID-19 Data Dashboard, which includes total positive cases with breakdowns by county, zip code, race/ethnicity, age group and by gender. It also includes specifics on test data and hospitalizations. Here's a link to the dashboard.

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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