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An Update On COVID-19 Impacts In The Capital Region, Still Unable To Reopen

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Mary Rozak
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Albany County Executive Dan McCoy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Capital Region now checks six of the seven criteria needed to begin reopening. But, the Democrat’s office says the region is not meeting the metric to show a sustained decline in daily hospital deaths from COVID-19.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy gave his daily briefing Tuesday morning with one good piece of news — no one died of coronavirus overnight.

There are now 1,375 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County, an increase of 12 over the last 24 hours. The county death toll remains 61. "We have 913 people under mandatory quarantine. That's down by 56. And we have 17 people that are on precautionary quarantine, so which is all good news. And we have 3,380 people have completed quarantine and 837 tested positive for the virus and have recovered, that’s up 14 from yesterday, and we're up 94 people that came off of it. All good stuff.

We have 31 people hospitalized with a hospitalization rate of 2.25. It's up a little bit from yesterday, yesterday was 2.2. We still have seven people in the ICU, that hasn't changed. And over the last five days there has been anaverage of 19.6 new positive cases each day."

McCoy credits mobile testing and people complying with social distancing as factors in declining numbers. "Which tells me everyone's been listening, staying home."

In March, the New York State Health Department required nursing homes to accept recovering patients who were infected with COVID-19. That policy was changed this week. "We have a lot of nursing homes in our region, and, of course that unfortnately is ground zero. We've known that from the beginning. As you've seen what has gone overseas and downstate and across this nation, unfortunately that's just, has happened in nursing homes and we're dealing with it the best that we can."

According to the Associated Press, more than 5,300 New Yorkers living in nursing homes have died of the virus.

McCoy is appealing to the state to look past certain Capital Region statistics that are preventing it from starting to reopen. "Also looking at the hospitalization rates, I've talked to the governor's people in the control room about the numbers because Albany Med is not just a Capital District hospital, it's a region hospital, they had people from outside our region and so the other hospitals here, so that's something that has to be addressed to because that shouldn't be held against us because on the earlier matrix we met that requirement, under the new matrix we did not."

McCoy is a member of Governor Cuomo’s Capital Region Control Room, dedicated to putting forward a plan that ensures the economy reopens quickly and safely.

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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