Two more deaths announced, as county’s COVID-19 toll reaches 128

ALBANY COUNTY — Two more Albany County residents have died of COVID-19, the county executive, Daniel McCoy, announced at his Tuesday morning press briefing.

Both were women in their eighties and both were residents of St. Peter’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Albany. One died on July 28 and the other on July 31.

“We were just notified of that yesterday,” said McCoy.

This brings the county’s death toll from COVID-19 to 128.

Six new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 were announced as well, bringing the county’s total to 2,310. Of the new cases, two are health-care workers or live in congregate settings, two had close contact to someone who was sick with COVID-19, one traveled out of state, and one case as yet has no clear source of infection.

On Tuesday, 575 county residents were under quarantine.

The five-day average for new daily positive cases dropped to 8.2 from 8.6 on Monday. Currently, Albany County has 31 active cases, down from 33 on Monday.

So far, 7,557 county residents have completed quarantine. Of those who completed quarantine, 2,279 of them have tested positive and recovered, an increase of eight.

Two county residents are hospitalized with one in an intensive-care unit. The county’s hospitalization rate is 0.08 percent.

The age group with the highest number of cases, at 480, remains those between the ages 20 to 29.

Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen said she is concerned about that age group “in terms of spread and in terms of more potential infection.”

She again described the process used by her department to isolate people infected with the disease and quarantine those who have been in close contact with a person who tests positive.

The goal, Whalen said, is to “stem infection where we have it and prevent larger outbreaks.”

Some in the 20-to-29 age group, she said, are unwilling to share information on contacts. A typical response might be, “Yeah, I know who was at the party but I’m not telling you who was there,” said Whalen.

She went on, “We simply don’t get those kinds of responses when we call about schools or we call about businesses.”

She emphasized, “Nobody’s getting in trouble here.”

 Reporting is needed, Whalen said, to protect the elderly and vulnerable.”

She also said, “Just because you’re young and healthy does not mean you cannot have a severe case of COVID-19.”

Also on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Rhode Island has been added to the list of states from which travelers, arriving in New York, have to quarantine for 14 days. At the same time, Delaware and Washington, D.C. have been removed from the list.

So now there are 34 states listed as well as Puerto Rico.

Cuomo also announced that more than $2.3 million has been awarded to support 61 businesses and residential landlords with COVID-19 related costs and expenses through the New York Forward Loan Fund.

Of the 61 loans, 54 were provided to minority- and women-owned businesses; ten loans were provided to residential landlords; two loans were awarded to veteran-owned businesses; and one loan supported a non-profit organization.

Applications are still being accepted and businesses from qualifying industries, including agriculture, construction, food services, retail, education services, manufacturing and transportation, are encouraged to apply.

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