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Albany County Department of Health Elizabeth F. Whalen, MD, MPH, Commissioner 175 Green Street Albany, NY 12202 Phone (518) 447-4580 Fax (518) 447-4698

Albany County Coronavirus News & Updates

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This is a rapidly changing situation. Please regularly check County Health Department information, the NYS Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control for updates.

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Albany County Executive Dan McCoy will be updating the public each day at approximately 10:30am.

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County News & Updates

County Executive McCoy Provides an Update on COVID-19

Announces New High Speed Broadband Internet Service for the Hilltowns

Post Date:04/16/2020 3:04 pm

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced today with County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen that as of this morning, there are now 563 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County. Additionally, there are now 668 people under mandatory quarantine and 66 people under precautionary quarantine. A total of 1,378 people have completed quarantine with 282 of them who had tested positive for the virus. The death toll due to the Novel Coronavirus for the county still stands at twenty.

With 32 people now hospitalized, the hospitalization rate for Albany County stands at 5.68%, up from yesterday’s rate of 5.6%. Eight of those individuals are now in Intensive Care Units (ICU), a drop of four since yesterday. Jason Guzzo, General Manager at Hudson Valley Wireless, Berne-Knox-Westerlo School Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mundell and County Legislator Christopher H. Smith joined the County Executive to discuss the completed project that’s bringing enhanced broadband internet access to the families, students, businesses, health care and emergency services to the Hilltowns of Albany County.

“Yesterday, when we unveiled the four new walk-up testing sites for Albany County, I spoke about the need for equity in health outcomes. Today’s announcement is another piece of my administration’s Equity Agenda. Reliable high speed internet access is no longer a luxury; it’s something you need to learn, to grow your business and to get ahead in life. With the financial support of Empire State Development and Governor Cuomo’s New NY Broadband Program, we are now on our way to making that a reality for more of our rural communities of Albany County,” said County Executive McCoy. 

“About 30% of students from the BKW Central School District lack access to internet service that is needed now more than ever for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. So I’m excited that through a partnership with Hudson Valley Wireless, we will be prioritizing those families and Albany County will be helping to cover the costs to make this as affordable as possible,” he continued.

Before today’s announcement, many homes and businesses in the Hilltowns relied on dial up service, spotty cell service or satellite connections. Thanks to funding from ESD and Governor Cuomo’s Broadband Program, Hudson Valley Wireless improved towers, fiber optics and microwave networks in Berne, Knox, Pinnacle, Bethlehem, Duanesburg and Rensselaer, to expand internet service across the Capital Region. The completed project was also made possible through a collaboration with Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Sr. and the Albany County Legislature.

"Empire State Development, in partnership with Albany County and Hudson Valley Wireless, is committed to the goals of the New NY Broadband Program.  ESD recognizes the critical importance of high-speed internet service for New York residents and businesses, especially when work from home requirements are in place," said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler.

Hudson Valley Wireless is currently scheduling installations. Due to high demand, appointments are being scheduled up to two weeks from now. Hudson Valley Wireless can be reached online at www.hvwisp.com or by calling (518) 458-7006.

County Executive McCoy also highlighted the testing for COVID-19 that began today at 12pm and will go until 4pm at the first new walk-up mobile site at the Capital South Campus at 20 Warren Street in Albany. Testing at the Whitney Young, Jr. Health Center at 920 Lark Drive, Albany will begin tomorrow and will be held week days from 9am to 4pm. Three other sites – Bleecker Terrace Apartments, Capital South Campus Center and the Watervliet Health Center – will be on a rotating basis. Schedule for location and times will be on our website. All testing is done by appointment only and after being screened for symptoms over the phone by calling the Whitney Young, Jr. Health Center at (518) 465-4771. 

For those who are experiencing stress, anxiety or even depression during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the County Mental Health Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am to 8pm at (518) 269-6634. The County Executive is also offering videos on coping, crafts and reading, AAU karate, exercise and more. Anyone experiencing a psychiatric emergency should still call the Albany County Mobile Crisis Team at (518) 549–6500.

Daily briefings are recorded and may be seen with slides on AlbanyCounty.com, the County’s Facebook page, public access channels—Open Stage Media in Schenectady and Channel Albany in the city of Albany and on Capitol OTB—Channel 1250 Spectrum and Channel 467 on Fios.

For all COVID-19 questions and concerns, including issues with price gouging and fraudulent products, residents are encouraged to use United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline as well as the State Department of Health’s hot line at 888-364-3065.

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