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Capital Region News

COVID Deaths Have Slowed Dramatically In New York’s Capital Region

Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman livestreams a May 26 COVID-19 briefing.
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Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman livestreams a May 26 COVID-19 briefing.

With the Capital Region in Phase One of the reopening process, COVID-19 numbers have been trending down in recent days.
Officials are hoping for a smooth transitional reopening as long as coronavirus cases continue declining across the region. At a briefing Tuesday morning, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said there are now 1,639 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County.

"We have 4,378 people have completely quarantined that's down a 117 from over the weekend, which is going in the right direction. Out of those 1,200 tested positive for the virus and have fully recovered. So that's up 41, which is also good.

So, some of this stuff that we have to track, right, when we do the control room meetings and the conversation, the biggest conversation piece that we have through the whole matrix is basically how the hospitalization rate is, and how many hospital beds are available. So one of the alarming things is now we're up to 33 people in the hospital. That's up five from yesterday. So we jumped five in our people in the hospital, so that changes our hospitalization rate to 2.01 up from 1.77 yesterday and that's the number we watch to besides the positive cases. It's the hospitalization ICU that type of stuff which can set us back."

Albany County hasn't reported any new COVID-19 related deaths since May 21st.

McCoy urges people to continue to practice social distancing, wash hands and wear masks despite the onset of summer weather sending many outdoors.

"The virus didn't go away. I know people have said to me that 'we're done with this, we're moving on,’ but it's not done with us."

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple discussed what he has been seeing during the pandemic, including COVID-19 related complaints against businesses and individuals, drug and mental health issues, personal protective equipment giveaways and more.

"We've received a lot of complaints. No fines all warnings, cease and desist. Regarding PPE, everybody has access to the PPE right now. It's actually showing up in the stores. So if the public wants to buy masks N95s or surgical, they're starting to pop up and become more frequent. And then a follow-up real quick,I did have a conversation with our attorney general just last week. We had a conference call regarding people gouging PPE to a lot of the first responders early on, where like a typical mask you're wearing, back in January or February, would have been 4 cents. We were at times paying $1.36 throughout this crisis and the N95 mask features so much value for less than a dollar in normal situations, but during the crisis that price rose to about $8."

Schenectady County Mananger Rory Fluman also gave an update Tuesday morning.

"Current lab confirmed positive cases, so these are people that have gone through symptomatic testing, have been confirmed to have COVID-19, right now here in Schenectady county. That number is 127. We have 11 hospitalizations at Ellis Hospital. And again, all this hospital is a regional hospital. As large as Albany Med, but we do take patients from Southern Saratoga County, Fulton, Montgomery County, and any place outside of the county, Schenectady. So as of today, right now we only have 11 hospitalizations that are due to COVID-19 at Ellis Hospital. We have 397 individuals quarantined, 162 individuals who are isolated in their homes because they’re lab confirmed positive with COVID-19. We've had 619 recoveries. "

Fluman and McCoy agree increased testing and tracking will help get their counties back up and running so that each reopening phase can be accomplished according to plan.

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