Capital Region Continues Confronting COVID During Small Spike | WAMC

Capital Region Continues Confronting COVID During Small Spike

Jul 28, 2020

As COVID-19 spreads across the country, the Capital Region is trying to keep control after a slight uptick in new cases.

Hit hard early in the pandemic, Albany County coronavirus cases have tapered off over the last several weeks, attributed to social distancing and mask-wearing. But there was a bump in the road to recovery: A July 4 party on Albany's Hudson Avenue. Albany County Executive Dan MCCoy:

"As of today there's 2,241 positive cases of coronavirus in Albany County. 854 people are under mandatory quarantine, a total increase of 12 positive cases since yesterday. Among those new positive cases are three cases involving health care workers. Three positives from three who reported traveling outside of the state. Two had close contact to a positive case. And four didn't have a clear source of infection. We found out that one person previously classified as an unknown source of infection has been linked to the Hudson Avenue party. So that brings that total group up to 40 now."

Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen
Credit County of Albany

"COVID is a very very difficult and mysterious illness. And we cannot predict, based on who gets infected with COVID, how serious the illness will become."

Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen:

"It is again incumbent on everyone listening to this message to do the work that they need to do, which is very little. Wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and washing your hands frequently to prevent the spread and prevent this from going up."

Whalen and McCoy urge young people to get tested, as national numbers indicate the infection is now spreading through younger age demographics.

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin says case numbers have been up and down there.

Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

"We had a little bit of unfortunate activity at one particular rehab center, a nursing home, Riverside, down in Castleton, which is about half of our active cases, 81 active COVID cases right now in a county of 160,000. So even with 81, that's still really really low numbers, but about half of those are at one facility, so we're keeping an eye on that. It's not permitted by the county nor inspected by the county, that's all the state, so we're kinda pressing the state to make sure that they are on top of things and I think they are."

McLaughlin says there was one new case overnight.

"An 80-year-old lady in Troy. But yeah we had nine clear, so that's kind of a minus eight for the day. So we're kind of in that range, we're under 100, the lowest we've been is about 16, this is the highest we've been in a while. Once we get past this Riverside issue I think we're gonna be back into the 30 or 40 range."

Schenectady County Public Health Services reports eight new positive cases today, bringing the current lab-confirmed total to 53, with 998 since the pandemic began. 788 people have recovered while 41 have died.

Ten percent of the 4.3 million people across the U.S. who have tested positive for coronavirus hail from New York state, home to 6 percent of the nation’s population.