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

Discusses Reopening Guidelines for Phase 1 & Phase 2 Businesses

Post Date:05/21/2020 12:08 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 1,578 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County, an increase of 26 over the last 24 hours. The five-day average of daily new positive cases is now at 25.4. Additionally, there are now 906 people under mandatory quarantine and 5 people under precautionary quarantine. To date, 3,993 individuals have completed quarantine, with 1,043 of them having tested positive and recovered. 

Unfortunately, a county resident passed away overnight – a man in his 70’s with multiple underlying health conditions and a resident of Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. That brings the entire county’s death toll at 73. There were no new hospitalizations since yesterday’s briefing. With 25 people currently hospitalized, the hospitalization rate for Albany County stands at 1.58%, down from 1.73% yesterday. There is one person currently in an Intensive Care Unit, unchanged from yesterday.

“My office has received quite a few questions from businesses as we enter Phase 1 and get closer to Phase 2 on what exactly is expected of them, and I want to work with each of them to get their employees back to work with as little confusion and stress as possible. It’s important to note that all businesses, including the essential ones who have continued to operate during the pandemic, will have to complete a re-opening safety plan as well as follow industry specific guidelines,” said County Executive McCoy. 

“As the weather improves ahead of Memorial Day weekend, I want to remind residents that simply because we’ve entered Phase 1, does not mean large gatherings are now allowed. I urge everyone to continue to social distance, wear masks, practice good hand hygiene and stay home as much as possible. This will allow us to transition into Phase 2 as quickly and safely as possible,” he continued. 

NY Forward Business Reopening Safety Plan Templates do not need to be submitted to the state. They do however need to be completed and kept on the premises. The plan must include basic information, contacts and how owners will implement state mandated guidelines to stop the spread of the virus, including the stockpiling of PPE, maintaining six feet of social distance, and ensuring hand hygiene, health screenings and proper protocols if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. The Business Reopening Lookup Tool will allow owners to look up whether or not their business is eligible to reopen and also access the industry specific health and safety criteria one must follow. For general information on industry breakdowns for each of the reopening phases, you can use the NY Forward website.

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, 1,317 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

  • Thursday: 1:30 – 4:00pm 
  • Friday: 9:00am – 12noon

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.

  • 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 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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