Daily pressers end, COVID carries on

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

“Please go out and get tested,” Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy urged. “It’s there,” he said of the coronavirus.

ALBANY COUNTY — On Friday, both the governor and the Albany County executive ended their months-long run of daily press briefings on COVID-19.

Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that New York City — the center of the pandemic and the last to reopen — is starting the second of four phases of reopening. The Capital Region is in Phase 3 and set to begin the final phase at the end of the month.

“But, COVID isn’t over,” said Cuomo. “We still have much more to do. We have to monitor the local infection rate, local governments must ensure compliance and do tracing, we have to watch out for a second wave, we have to watch out for possible infections coming now from other states, and many people need help to get their lives back to normal.”

He also said, “When this started, we had more cases per capita than any state in the country or any nation on the globe. But today, we have done a full 180, from worst to first. We are controlling the virus better than any state in the country and any nation on the globe.”

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said, “It’s hard to believe it’s been 100 days … trying to reimagine and trying to educate ourselves.”

McCoy will continue to hold briefings on Tuesday and Friday mornings and will add others as needed.

Both leaders commended citizens for stemming the spread of coronavirus and cautioned it hasn’t gone away.

Cuomo referenced the new words added to the state seal in April: e pluribus unum — out of many, one. 

“We didn’t just put the words on our state seal; we made the words come true,” he said. “We made the words come to life. In this crisis we were united, we were there one for another, we did act as one. It was extraordinary. I’ve never seen or felt anything like it. I ask myself and today I ask you: Why did it take a crisis to bring us together?”

He also said, “The only way forward is if I protect you and you protect me. I wear a mask for you and you wear a mask for me.”

“It’s because of you,” said McCoy, addressing the public, as he listed the latest coronavirus tallies.

Albany County has 1,847 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 138 residents under mandatory quarantine and one under precautionary quarantine.

The five-day average for new daily positive cases is now 4.

So far, 5,553 county residents have completed quarantine, with 1,811 of them having tested positive and recovered. The recovery rate for the county now stands at 98 percent.

The county’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 120.

Six county residents are hospitalized with one in an intensive-care unit. The county’s hospitalization rate is now 0.32 percent.

“Please go out and get tested,” McCoy urged. “It’s there,” he said of the virus.

He also urged business to follow the state’s directives, saying of the county, “We don’t want to be that person that is fining you and shutting you down. It’s the governor’s orders,” he said of local enforcement.

He also said, “I leave it to the consumers … If you don’t feel comfortable and safe … get out.”

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