Another record number of cases, another COVID death

New York State Capitol

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

The State Capitol, starting Jan. 10, will admit visitors only if they show proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 48 hours.

ALBANY COUNTY — On Saturday morning, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy announced another record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases: 1,229.

And that doesn’t include unreported positive results from home tests.

McCoy also announced a woman in her eighties died of the virus on Friday, bringing the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 476.

The county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases is now up to 741. There are currently 5,771 active cases in Albany County, up from 5,148 on Friday. The number of county residents under quarantine increased to 6,386 from 5,743. 

There were 14 new hospitalizations since Friday, and there are now 110 county residents currently hospitalized with the coronavirus. Thirteen of those hospital patients are in intensive-care units, down from 16 on Friday.

“I don’t believe we’ve seen the peak yet here in the United States, said Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Our hospitals right now are full of people who are unvaccinated, and you are 17 times more likely to be in the hospital and 20 times more likely to die if you’re unvaccinated compared to if you’re boosted.”

As of Friday, 79.3 percent of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 71.9 percent have been fully vaccinated. The first-dose vaccination rate for county residents who are 18 and older is 88.1 percent.


OGS restricts capitol visitors

Starting on Monday, visitors to the capitol must be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID test within 48 hours, the Office of General Services announced on Saturday.

The office also announced that the Legislative Office Building will be closed until further notice “as a necessary precaution in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.”

On Monday, the Cultural Education Center announced that the same rules — no admittance without proof of vaccination or a negative test — will apply to all visitors, including volunteers, interns, contractors, and vendors, effective Jan. 12.

All visitors will be required to enter the capitol from the Empire State Plaza concourse level. Proof must be shown along with valid identification before entry. Masks will be required at all times, and there will be limited capacity in the capitol to align with social distancing best practices.

Authorized state workers and others with state-issued access cards will continue to access both buildings via all normal entrances, turnstiles, and portals. The New York State Police will continue to staff all security screening access points.

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