Gov says: One bad event can be a real problem

ALBANY COUNTY — Since Wednesday, Albany County has 29 more cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths from the disease, bringing the county’s death toll to 124.

Cases and deaths had been declining since reaching an apex in mid-April but, in recent weeks, Albany County has seen an uptick.

“We’re starting to see an increase, which makes us worried,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy at his Thursday morning press briefing.

The two latest victims were both elderly men — one in his seventies and the other in his eighties — with underlying health conditions who had lived at St. Peter’s Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Albany.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, at his press briefing on Thursday, said of the statewide numbers, “Good news, all good news: 706 hospitalizations, lowest since March 18; number of deaths, 13.”

He went on, “You see a little tick in the Capital Region. You see Albany, Capital Region, we had just about 30 positives from one July 4th party … You understand why we say: One bad event, one bad group can be a real problem.”

On Wednesday, 69,698 test results were returned statewide; 811, or 1.16 percent, were positive. 

The Capital Region, as the day before, had the highest percentage of positive tests in any of the state’s 10 regions: 1.6 percent. The lowest remains the North Country, now tied with the Southern Tier, at 0.6 percent.

Albany County now has  2,168 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 631 people under quarantine.

The five-day average for new daily positive cases is now up to 14.4 from 12 on Wednesday. There are currently 91 active cases, up from 84 yesterday.

“That number has been steadily going up the last couple of weeks,” said McCoy of active cases. He also said, “The unfortunate news is the hospitalization and that’s the one we’ve been watching.”

Currently, six county residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, double the number from Wednesday; one of them is in an intensive-care unit. The hospitalization rate has risen to 0.27 percent from 0.14 percent on Wednesday.

So far, 6,677 county residents have completed quarantine, while 2,077 of them have tested positive and recovered, which is up 22.

McCoy went over the origin of the 29 new cases. Five more are linked to a Fourth of July weekend party on Hudson Avenue in Albany, bringing to 33 the total of cases so far originating from that party.

McCoy again urged any of the party-goers who have not been tested to call the Albany County Department of Health at 518-447-4640 to get tested quickly.

About 200 college-age people were at the three-day party; they weren’t wearing masks or staying six feet from one another, McCoy had said earlier.

“You’re not going to get fined; you’re not going to go to jail … It helps us stop the domino effect; it helps us stop the spread if you come forward and tell us who you were exposed to,” said McCoy.

Twelve of the new cases are of health-care workers or people who live in congregate settings. Three are travelers, two had close contact with someone who was ill with COVID-19, and seven had no clear source of infection that could be discerned at this point.

“I need your help,” McCoy said, addressing the public at his briefing. “I’m encouraging everyone to get tested.”

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