Church vaccination site opens in Albany

— Photo from the New York State Governor’s Office

Pop-up sites for COVID-19 vaccinations were announced by the governor Saturday in Brooklyn. One is scheduled to open Monday at Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church in Albany.

ALBANY COUNTY — Two more county residents died of COVID-19 bringing Albany County’s death toll to 293.

A man in his sixties and a man in his seventies succumbed to the disease, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy announced in a press release Saturday morning.

There were 249 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Friday, the release said.

Also on Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo opened a community vaccination site in Brooklyn —  one set up with a kit, piloted last week at New York City Housing Authority senior housing developments as well as at churches and cultural centers.

Cuomo announced eight more church-based sites, one of them in Albany, at the Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church at 24 Ten Broeck St. That site will run on Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in partnership with the Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center.

“When it comes to this vaccine, access has to be fair all across the board,” Cuomo told the crowd in Brooklyn. “We’re working with 300 churches to distribute the vaccine. We’re working with public housing authorities all across the state.”

McCoy, too, has repeatedly stressed the need to reach Black residents in Albany County.

As of Saturday morning, Albany County has had 16,982 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 249 new cases since Friday, McCoy’s release said.

Of the new cases, 201 did not have a clear source of infection identified at this time, 35 had close contact with someone who had the disease, 12 are health-care workers or residents of congregate settings, and one traveled out of state.

The five-day average for new daily positives has increased to 228.4 from 213. There are now 1,764 active cases in the county, up from 1,753 yesterday.

The number of county residents under mandatory quarantine decreased to 2,840 from 2,888. So far, 50,339 residents have completed quarantine. Of those, 15,218 had tested positive and recovered. That is an increase of 227 recoveries since Friday.

There were 19 new hospitalizations overnight, and there are 172 county residents currently hospitalized from the virus — 16 patients are in intensive-care units, up three from yesterday.

According to data released by the governor’s office on Saturday afternoon, the Capital Region has administered 78 percent of the vaccines it was given; the statewide rate is 80 percent.

Among the state’s 10 regions, the Capital Region continues to have the worst rate for both available hospital beds and ICU beds.

Currently, 539 Capital Region residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, which is 0.05 percent of the region’s population and leaves 14 percent of its hospital beds available. That is a slight dip from the usual 25 percent.

Statewide, 0.05 percent of New Yorkers are hospitalized with the disease, leaving 32 percent of the state’s hospital beds available.

Currently 210 of the Capital Region’s 259 ICU beds are occupied, which leaves 19 percent available. Statewide, 26 percent of ICU beds are available.

The Capital Region’s infection rate, as a seven-day average, as of Friday, was 6.9 percent; four other regions have a higher rate. Statewide, the positivity rate is 6.07 percent.

As of Friday, Albany County has an infection rate, as a seven-day rolling average, of 7.5 percent, according to the state’s dashboard.

More Regional News

  • “We’ve got to reimagine how we’re getting the vaccine out to people,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy. New strategies include a mobile van, walk-ins at the county’s health department, and incentives provided by businesses.

  • “The state has been sitting on almost a billion dollars since January,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, concluding, “I have landlords that call me all the time, text me, wonder where this money’s at.”

  • As vaccination rates are falling off nationwide, incentives are being offered — like discounts and specials at Crossgates Mall. An incentive for states is a new federal policy to reallocate doses from states not using their weekly allotments.

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