Two more Albany County residents have died of COVID-19. Officials says there are now 365 confirmed cases, with 477 people under mandatory quarantine and 34 hospitalized.
County Executive Dan McCoy says the total of coronavirus deaths in the county stands at 11.
"It's so important to continue to stay at home as much as possible. I don't know how much we have to emphasize this, about social distancing, staying six feet away. If you're out getting fresh air, staying away from other people, especially, you know, if you're on a rail trail, if you're out at parks, you know, we want people out to get fresh air, but do it at a safe distance."
County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen: "Overnight, we did see a spike in the amount of cases we got 28 overnight. And this is starting to reflect the testing that we're getting out at SUNY, we're, as I've said, happy that this testing is being done. We're very appreciative of the efforts of the New York State Department of Health, Albany Med and St. Peter's, the National Guard and others who have been the police who have coordinated on this very essential effort for our community. And we expect that as that continues, that testing continues to occur, we will see larger numbers in the community."
McCoy and a member of his staff entered the briefing room Thursday wearing paper surgical masks, a definite about-face from his March 4 press conference where he said: "Masks aren't gonna help."
Now Dr. Whalen says if you have a mask, wear it. "The New York State Department of Health overnight did come out with recommendations for the general public to consider wearing masks, because we know that they could promote source control. So when you’re wearing a mask, if you happen to be somebody that has a very mild case of COVID-19, or if you’re pre-symptomatic, and we know that individuals can start to spread COVID-19 before they develop symptoms, this protects others around you. It creates source control.”
Whalen says officials are working on a way to make testing and resources available to communities of color and to people who don't own a vehicle and can’t use the drive-through testing center that has been opened on the uptown UAlbany campus.
- Citing recent studies that demonstrate many people who are carrying COVID-19 do not show any symptoms, the New York State Department of Health issued new guidance last night that supports the use of “cloth face coverings” when out in public and social distancing can be difficult. That includes in essential business places like grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores. Coverings should fit tightly across an individual’s face and cover their nose and mouth. More information can be found HERE.
- For many, COVID-19 has disrupted routines and made everyday activities, such as work and caring for loved ones, challenging. These changes, on top of the general uncertainty around this pandemic, can create feelings of stress, fear and nervousness. Click here to read some Red Cross techniques for managing stress and navigating this difficult time.