County Executive McCoy Provides an Update on the COVID-19 Response in Albany County
Outlines Economic Impact of TV & Film Productions Possibly Heading to Albany County During Phase 4
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced today that as of this morning, there have now been 1,895 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County to date, an increase of two since yesterday. Additionally, there are now 185 people under mandatory quarantine. Under the new state tracking system, there is no longer a precautionary quarantine distinction, and all quarantines are tracked together. The five-day average for new daily positive cases is now 5. There are currently 26 active cases of COVID-19. So far, 5,732 individuals have completed quarantine, with 1,869 of them having tested positive and recovered.
There are currently four individuals hospitalized, once again unchanged from yesterday, and the hospitalization rate remains at 0.21%. There were no new hospitalizations overnight and there is still one person in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). There have been no new deaths reported since last Wednesday. The death toll for Albany County stands at 121 since the outbreak began.
County Executive McCoy brought in County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Whalen to analyze the data from the County COVID-19 Dashboard Tracker and the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Tracker. He was also joined by Discover Albany Film Commissioner Deb Goedeke to discuss how the Capital Region entering Phase 4 ahead of New York City will be a boon for TV and movie production and the local economy.
“When you see spikes in COVID-19 infections in 32 states across the country while the Capital Region gets ready for Phase 4 tomorrow, you can’t help but be reminded of not only how far we’ve come, but also the need to be responsible so we don’t backslide. Albany County’s percent positive of those who are tested has now dropped down to 4.4% from 5.5% over a two week period, and it’s because we are practicing social distancing and wearing masks,” said County Executive McCoy.
“And this hard work is paying off, because TV and movie production reopening comes in Phase 4. We’ve already had two location scouts here in Albany last week about a possible Netflix movie and HBO has been calling as well. Considering pre-production of The Punisher brought in roughly half a million dollars last summer alone, this would be a huge win for our local economy,” he continued.
Since both the Times Union Center and the Albany Capital Center have been deemed New York State, film and TV companies are able to access the State Film Tax Credits when they film in the City of Albany using these facilities. Other movies and TV shows that have been filmed in Albany include SALT, The Pretenders and As You Are. Film Commissioner Goedeke discussed how Discover Albany and Film Albany is working with Empire State Development to ensure the proper guidelines are in place to safely host film and production crews as part of Phase 4. It’s estimated that a TV series generates about $125,000 each day of production, and a feature film generates $250,000 per day, supporting local hotels, restaurants, truck rentals and other local businesses.
During the briefing, County Executive McCoy reaffirmed his commitment to helping to address gun violence in the City of Albany by working in a partnership with all elected and community leaders. The issues Albany is experiencing are complex, and they need to be dealt with by not only utilizing resources in law enforcement, but also with social programs old and new that can be provided at the city and county levels.
As of June 28, a total of 47,815 people have been tested for COVID-19, with a total of 2,099 have tested positive. Those between the ages of 20 and 29 continue to have the highest number of positive cases, now at 336 and up from 326 a week ago. The 50 to 59 age group continues to trail behind them with 314 positive cases.
As the Capital Region gets closer to entering Phase 4 of reopening the economy, the County Executive continues to offer two gallons of hand sanitizer to businesses who have filed their health and safety plan affirmation statements. Anyone interested who has not already received any hand sanitizer can go to the back of the Times Union Center by taking Market Street, follow the ramp to the right and call (518) 487-2023 when you arrive. This will run each week, Monday through Friday, from 8am to 6pm.
Below is this week’s schedule for Albany County’s walk-up COVID-19 mobile testing 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 – 8:30am – 10:30am
• Thursday – 8:30am – 10:30am
County Executive McCoy continues to highlight the testing site in Albany County at Priority 1 Urgent Care, which 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 encourages 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 during the ongoing pandemic and gun violence in the City of Albany, the Albany County Mental Health Support Line is available seven days a week, now from 8am to 5pm 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.