County Executive McCoy Provides an Update on the COVID-19 Response in Albany County
Highlights Expanded Testing at UAlbany and National Foster Care Month
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced today that as of this morning, there are now 1,309 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County. Additionally, there are now 1,009 people under mandatory quarantine and 15 people under precautionary quarantine. To date, 2,979 individuals have completed quarantine, with 768 of them having tested positive and recovered. Sadly, there were 2 additional deaths – a man in his 80’s and another man in his 90’s, both with underlying health issues. The death toll for the County now stands at 58.
With 29 people now hospitalized, the hospitalization rate for Albany County stands at 2.21%, up slightly from 2.19% yesterday. The number of those individuals who are in Intensive Care Units (ICU) is now at 6, down one since yesterday’s briefing. There are now 50 residents in total at Shaker Place who have tested positive for COVID-19, including two who have recovered. Additionally, 18 employees who have tested positive remain out of work, while 9 others who had tested positive have fully recovered and returned to work. One of the above reported deaths from overnight was a Shaker Place resident.
Albany County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen joined County Executive for the daily briefing to highlight the expanded testing parameters for the University at Albany drive-thru testing site. Certain “essential” workers will now be able to get tested despite being asymptomatic, including but not limited to healthcare workers; first responders; nursing home and long term care facility workers; correction, probation and parole officers; direct care providers; medical specialists; dietitians; occupational, physical or speech therapists; and workers who interact directly with the public; among others. Here is the full list of workers who are eligible. The number to call to make an appointment is 1-888-364-3065 or you can go online to this link here: covid19screening.health.ny.gov.
In honor of National Foster Care Month, County Department for Children, Youth and Families Commissioner Moira Manning also joined the County Executive who underscored that foster care is not a substitute for family, but rather a support for those families to help create a safer, more nurturing homes.
“While our Department of Health staff works around the clock to contact trace and ensure those placed under quarantine are cared for in order to stem the spread of the virus, other parts of county government must continue to function as well. There are 139 kids in our foster program who rely on our DCYF workforce each and every day to make sure they’re safe and help their parents remain in their lives for the good of the entire family,” said County Executive McCoy.
“And as we continue to develop our own plan for how the Capital Region’s economy can reopen, I’m thrilled to see the UAlbany site is expanding their ability to test and get even more people through the facility so we can meet the Governor’s benchmark and continue to move forward,” he continued.
The County Department for Children, Youth and Families foster program has been utilizing “Parent-to-Parent Meetings,” which involves a discussion between foster parents and biological parents regarding the specific needs of children to ensure a smooth transition into a new home. Wrap around social services are also key to a healthy and speedy return of a child to their biological parents.
During the briefing, the County Executive also took time to highlight the face shields he delivered to Saint Catherine’s Center for Children. He also thanked the Slingerlands Price Chopper for the donation of healthy snacks that they provided to the County workforce. Finally, he shared a photo of County Department of Health staff taking part of the #518 Rainbow Challenge in honor of National Nurses Week.
The remaining schedule for this week’s walk-up community COVID-19 testing can be found below, a partnership between County Executive McCoy and the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center. The initiative has been expanded to take a regional approach to testing and help more people. To date, 975 tests have been conducted at the sites within Albany County. The schedule is based on demand and mobile site locations are updated weekly based on that need. Next week’s schedule at the Whitney Young Health Center and the mobile sites will be posted to the county website shortly. All testing is by appointment only, after being screened for symptoms over the phone. To be screened, please call (518) 465-4771.
Rotating Locations & Dates for the Week of May 4
Each week the mobile sites will rotate morning & afternoon testing. The full updated schedule can be found here.
• Friday, May 8, 1:30 pm – 4:00pm
Watervliet Health Center, 1804 Second Ave, Watervliet
The County Executive also highlighted the latest testing site in Albany County at Priority 1 Urgent Care, located in Hamilton Square at 2080 Western Avenue in Guilderland. The partnership was made possible by Albany County supplying the facility with critical personal protective equipment for the staff and supplemental test kits. The location, at the corner of Routes 20 and 155, is convenient for both those relying on public transportation and those traveling in their own vehicles from the City of Albany, New Scotland, the Hilltowns and Schenectady. Testing will be reimbursed by an individual’s health insurance, and will be done by appointments only after patients come in to be screened for expanded CDC symptoms. To schedule an appointment, you can call (518) 867-8040.
County Executive McCoy also encouraged those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to register for the drive-thru community testing site at Rite Aid, 1863 Central Avenue in Colonie that was launched in partnership with Town Supervisor Paula Mahan, Rite Aid and the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. In the first 12 days, over 500 tests have been given. Testing is free for those who are eligible based on CDC guidelines and are at least 18 years old. It’s available between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week by appointment only. Registration is now available at www.riteaid.com. Tests will be conducted from within an individual’s car with self-swab nasal tests and with the help of a pharmacist.
For those experiencing stress, anxiety or depression while confined to their homes for extended periods of time, the Albany County COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am to 8pm at (518) 269-6634. Anyone experiencing a psychiatric emergency should still call the Albany County Mobile Crisis Team at (518) 549–6500. The 24-hour sexual assault hotline number is (518) 447-7716.
The County Executive continues to offer online videos on coping, crafts and reading, AAU karate, exercise, proper use of personal protective equipment and more.
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 hotline at 888-364-3065.