Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says the county has 166 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday.
McCoy says there are now 566 people under mandatory quarantine. 247 people are under precautionary quarantine. 15 individuals are now hospitalized, and the hospitalization rate for the county is now about 9%. McCoy says the numbers have climbed steadily since March 12th.
"The problem is the testing has pretty much come to a halt other than necessities. So I don't want people to think out there, when you know, and obviously these numbers are going to continue to grow in different areas. But that's really our number, because it's probably much higher than that. Because our testing because the test kits, and I call on the governor and the federal government to get us the test kits so we can continue to move forward, which I have been working on."
Albany County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen agrees:
"The fact that we are not doing widespread testing in the public is a concern that these numbers are as high as they are. Because we know that these numbers, at this point reflect positive either healthcare workers or inpatients. I will continue to advocate for community based testing in places where containment has been effective. There are two pillars to this: community mitigation and widespread testing. We need to do widespread testing, so that our mitigation strategies are more effective."
Whalen and McCoy continued their call for residents to stay home and limit interactions.
County Department of Mental Health Director Dr. Stephen Giordano invites anyone having difficulty dealing with coronavirus to call:
"We've set up a mental health support line. And the number we've given out many times 518-269-6634. We've had almost 60 people call into this line, we have volunteers and staff members manning it seven days a week. I would just say that it's a mental health support line. And although we'll handle anything that comes in, we have had to direct a few calls to other sources. We're not medical doctors, we're not health advisors, and we're not a complaint bureau."
McCoy asks that anyone who was at the Victory Bible Church at 21 Hackett Blvd. in Albany on Sunday, March 15 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. to stay in their homes under precautionary quarantine until March 29. They should also contact the Albany County Department of Health as soon as possible.