U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined Albany County Executive Dan McCoy's daily news conference today to discuss how federal funding is being used to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Gillibrand joined the briefing via teleconference, saying she will support Americans who have been affected by the pandemic. The Democrat addressed economic inequalities she says have been magnified by the pandemic.
"We've seen that COVID disproportionatley affects communities of color, we've seen it in Albany. And unfortuantely what that is because of is lots and lots of decades of institutional racism and other factors that affect people's health. So, you know, not having access to health care, our having less health care. Not having access to clean air, clean water. Not having access to safe and appropriate housing."
Gillibrand says it will likely be a year before a vaccine is available. She supports creating a “Health Force,” in which a million workers would be trained over the next two months to conduct additional testing and perform contact tracing.
McCoy announced that the county's COVID deaths have reached 44.
"We had one male in his 70s that was a resident in our nursing home Shaker Place that passed away, and we had two females in their 80s who passed away."
McCoy says there are now 1,151 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County. 1,004 people are under mandatory quarantine and 14 people are under precautionary quarantine. Thirty-three people are hospitalized.
McCoy also announced the launch of new virtual visits for residents at the county-run Shaker Place nursing home while visitation is on hold during the pandemic.
In Rensselaer County there are 15 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total confiremed to 320 , with 20 deaths in the county.
The Saratoga County Department of Public Health Services said Friday there are 355 confirmed cases there, with 495 positive in Schenectady County.
Saturday is the final day of week-long mobile testing in the city of Schenectady’s underserved neighborhoods. Testing will take place at Hometown Health Centers on State Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.