Albany County distributing KN95 masks and COVID home test kits
In Albany County a concerted effort is underway to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Sheriff Craig Apple says expedited distribution of KN95 masks and COVID home-testing kits to municipalities is underway.
"So the 140,000 masks that got delivered, nine pallets," Apple said. "We had a meeting earlier today with the emergency managers as well, it's going on a population ratio to break it down, obviously, the city of Albany being the largest, they will receive 33,000 masks plus, and you know, all the way down to the town of Westerlo, that'll get 1000 masks. So it's just I know, people will say well, 'my gosh, that's just a drop in the bucket.' But these are KN95s, they're very good masks much better than the cloth mask."
Supplies were obtained through federal and state officials and agencies.
Apple says the masks are being delivered with the assistance of the mayors and the town supervisors, emergency managers and municipal leaders who will decide where and when and how to get them to residents.
Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen says the rise in coronavirus cases is likely due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
"It is estimated by the CDC that currently about 70 plus percent of cases are Omicron," Whalen said. "And this number is expected to increase. If we look at how this has played out in other countries, the rise in cases is very rapid. The trajectory of the upward curve is very steep. It is very unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation on the week between Christmas and New Year's. But it is where we find ourselves."
County Executive Dan McCoy says for everyone's sake, don't argue - respect one another... "With the new variant, I'm just saying to everyone.'Please do the right thing.' You know, you have to do and respect people if they want to wear their masks, respect that they don't want to wear their masks respect that. Don't get in arguments with with people in restaurants. If you don't like what you see, just don't go in. Just don't go in."