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County Executive McCoy Provides an Update on the COVID-19 Response in Albany County

Joined by Capital Region Chamber to Discuss Assisting Businesses on First Day of Reopening and Encourages Those Returning to Work to Get Tested

Post Date:05/20/2020 12:44 pm

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced today that as of this morning, there are now 1,552 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County, an increase of 71 over the last 24 hours due to testing results returning from a private nursing home, which found 42 positive cases. The five-day average of daily new positive cases is now at 25.4. Additionally, there are now 847 people under mandatory quarantine and 5 people under precautionary quarantine. To date, 3,943 individuals have completed quarantine, with 1,026 of them having tested positive and recovered. The proportion of those who have tested positive and recovered has now grown from 53.5% to 66.1% since May 5.

Sadly, two Albany County residents passed away overnight – two women, one who was over 100 and another who was in her 80’s, both with underlying health issues. That brings the county’s death toll to 72. With 27 people currently hospitalized, the hospitalization rate for Albany County stands at 1.73%, down from 2.02% yesterday. There is now one person currently in in Intensive Care Units (ICU), down from three yesterday. 

On the first day of Phase 1 of reopening, Capital Region Chamber President and CEO Mark Eagan, Albany County Economic Development Director Kevin O’Connor and County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen joined the County Executive for the daily briefing to discuss safety protocols and loan opportunities for businesses who are opening or will soon reopen in the following phases.

“Today is an exciting day as businesses that represent over 21,000 jobs in Albany County alone can finally start to kick back into gear and still more can prepare to do the same soon. When you consider more than 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the last two months and the fact that roughly 50% of the county’s jobs falls into Phase 2, including nearly 14,000 in finance and insurance, it makes it all that more important to continue moving forward,” said County Executive McCoy. 

“However, as I’ve said many times before, we can only get to Phase 2 if everyone continues to do their part, including social distancing, wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings and getting tested before going back to work if you can. Ultimately, it’s up to us as individuals to make that happen and avoid another shutdown,” he continued.

During the briefing, Capital Region Chamber President and CEO Eagan announced that the Al Tech Loan Fund, administered by his organization through the Albany Business Development Corporation since 1994, has been invited by the Department of Commerce to apply for a specific program within the federal CARES Act for COVID-19 related loans. By applying as a region as opposed to Albany County alone, the chances of being awarded the full $10 million in funding for each applicant is greatly improved. The counties included in the application would be Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady.

Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center continues to implement the state’s mandated two COVID-19 tests for residents and employees per week. This week, 190 employees have been tested; 183 were negative and 7 were positive. There are now 19 residents who have tested positive within the facility and 10 who are in hospitals. To date, 33 residents have recovered from the virus. 

County Executive McCoy took time during the briefing to recognize CSEA who is celebrating Essential Workers Day and thanked all of our essential workers who have helped guide Albany County and the Capital Region through the COVID-19 pandemic

County Executive McCoy thanked all of our essential workers

The remaining schedule for Albany County’s walk-up mobile testing sites this week is below, and is posted on the county website. To date, 1,269 people have gotten tested at the Albany County sites. The schedule is based on demand and mobile site locations are updated weekly based on that need. All testing is by appointment only, after being screened for symptoms over the phone. To be screened, please call (518) 465-4771. 

Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center - 920 Lark Drive, Albany

  • Wednesday: 1:30 – 4:00pm 
  • Thursday: 1:30 – 4:00pm 
  • Friday: 1:30 – 4:00pm 

Rotating Locations & Dates for the Week of May 18

Each week the mobile sites will rotate morning & afternoon testing. The full updated schedule can be found here.

  • Wednesday, May 20: 1:30 – 4:00pm 
    Capital South Campus, 20 Warren St, Albany
  • Thursday, May 21: 9:00am – 12noon
    Watervliet Health Center, 1804 Second Ave, Watervliet
  • Friday, May 22: 1:30 – 4:00pm 
    Front of Rensselaer City Hall, 62 Washington St, Rensselaer

County Executive McCoy continues to highlight the latest testing site in Albany County at Priority 1 Urgent Care that is now also providing antibody testing, 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. 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. Priority 1 is also now doing antibody testing. 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. 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.

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