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COVID Cases Continue To Rise In Albany County

WAMC Composite Image by Dave Lucas

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy gave an update on the latest increase in COVID-19 numbers this morning. The trend is going in the wrong direction.

McCoy says six residents have died since Friday.

"So my heart goes out to the families. These are difficult times that we're going through but more difficult when you lose somebody in these tough times. And it's hard because on Saturday, you know, we lost a female and another male in his late 50's. And when you start to see that number go down, it's alarming, you know you have to be careful. I know people are fatigued, they're tired, but the reality is still there, a vaccine is around the corner, I know the state is hoping to get FDA to sign off on Moderna, I think it's called, and they'll get 350,000 vaccines by the end of this month which should be awesome, and on top of that, you know the first shot was given out today at 9 a.m."

Credit County of Albany
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy gives a coronavirus briefing via Facebook on Monday, December 14, 2020.

McCoy spoke just after a New York City healthcare worker received the nation’s first public vaccine.  The Democrat expects vaccine shipments to arrive in Albany County "very shortly."

"Nursing homes first then their staff, then hospitals, and areas like that, essential workers. So the normal person won't see it for quite awhile, not unless, that's what I was talking about, the other vaccine that could come in 350,000 vials of that, but the problem is there are over 19 million residents in New York state, a little over 13 million in New York City area, so it's gonna take time. People gotta be patient, so that's why I say 'please wear your masks, please.'"

McCoy rattled off the latest COVID numbers:

"As of today there's 7,951 positive cases of COVID 19. 3,244 people are currently under mandatory quarantine and today is 154 positive, an increase overnight. Yesterday it was 173 cases, the day before 198, and it was one of the things we're at the peak of Thanksgiving, but we still Christmas, Channukah, Kwaanza all that going on, people excited to go out and go shopping, but we gotta keep our guard up."

McCoy says changes to New York state’s micro-cluster guidelines would affect the Capital Region, that Albany County would hit “orange zone” status with hospital capacity at 85% and if the COVID-19 positive test rate is above 4% for more than 10 days.

McCoy says of the new positive cases, 14 had close contact with people who were positive, and 138 had no clear source of infection.

"Over the last five days we've had 182 new positive cases each day. Yesterday it was 180.4, as of today 28,217 people have now completed quarantine. Of those, 6,312 tested positive for the virus and recovered. 143 recoveries since yesterday, which is good. There are now 86 people currently hospitalized from the virus."

In addition to wearing masks, McCoy continues to urge residents to stay six feet away from others, cough and sneeze into their elbows and wash hands frequently. It’s the same advice officials have been giving for months, but with life moving indoors during the winter and holiday gatherings being held despite warnings, public health experts expect COVID numbers to worsen in the coming weeks.

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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