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Albany County reports record daily COVID caseload

Dave Lucas/CDC composite image

Albany County continues shattering record daily COVID-19 case numbers.

County Executive Dan McCoy says the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Albany County currently stands at 41,330, with 1,003 new positive cases identified since Thursday. That is up sharply from the day before, eclipsing the previous record by 600 cases.

The county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases is now up to 404.8.

"In the numbers we had the last couple of days, it's physically impossible to keep up with everything. So please help us help the staff do their job," said McCoy. "I also want to remind everyone, please, you know when you go to the website, be patient. I know the CDC put out new guidance or has made an announcement. But I want to share this, I was on the control room with Governor Hochul's people yesterday. And there's no guidance yet from CDC, on the five day quarantine and five days again, now, they've talked about it, they pushed it out there. But they have not given any written notification on basically how it's going to be done. Why they're going to five days, the State Health Department's waiting for that same guidance.”

McCoy says that there were 15 new hospitalizations since Thursday, with 66 county residents currently hospitalized. The death toll for Albany County stands at 470 since the outbreak began.

Dr. Thea Dalfino is chief medical director of acute care for St. Peter's Health Partners.

"Today, we have 82 COVID patients in the hospital, the vast majority of whom are not vaccinated," Dalfino said. "We have 11 in the ICU, and six, I believe, are on ventilator."

Dalfino, advises anyone exhibiting "mild symptoms" to go ahead and quarantine without being tested.

"We're being overrun right now in our emergency department with patients coming in with very mild symptoms, or some with no symptoms, requesting COVID testing," said Dalfino. "So we're making a plea to the community to please, either get the at home tests, if you can find them, go on the website, to do that. Or go to urgent care and call your primary care providers. Our emergency departments really are for the sickest patients, you know, those with chest pain, shortness of breath, prolonged fevers, severe dehydration, we really want to be able to have that resource available for the patients who absolutely need it."

Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen says with testing kits scarce right now, officials want to protect the hospitals so that the sickest patients can be cared for.

"If you are feeling well unwell, you and you should obtain a test if you can," Whalen said. "But for now, you know with given the spread that we are seeing, I would assume your symptoms or attributes are attributable to COVID-19. The forecast with the modeling that's being done is that this will peak quickly. It will continue to grow the our numbers will likely continue to grow till probably the end of January. And then hopefully, if the models follow what have been seen what has been seen in South Africa, and in the United Kingdom, we will hopefully see a steep drop off."

McCoy continues to encourage residents to submit the positive results of at-home COVID testing on the county website. Here is the link.

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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