New, free COVID-19 testing site — at Walgreens

—Still frame from May 17 press conference video
“You don’t even have to be New York tough to take that test,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo at a May press conference after having his nose swabbed. 

ALBANY COUNTY — Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy on Friday announced a new diagnostic testing site for COVID-19.

He stressed, as he has for months, the importance of testing county residents with or without symptoms.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines to exclude testing people who do not show COVID-19 symptoms even if they have been exposed to the virus.

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut — all Democrats — issued a joint statement, saying, “This 180-degree reversal of COVID-19 testing guidelines is reckless, and not based on science and has the potential to do long-term damage to the institution’s reputation.” Their states will not be changing their guidance.

Cuomo announced on Friday that 8 million tests have now been conducted in the state. He also announced the lowest COVID-19 infection rate in New York State — 0.65 percent — since the pandemic began.

“Yesterday's data also shows that we aren’t necessarily finding more positives with more testing, which is a good new development,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The Capital Region, of which Albany County is a part, had a rate of 0.5 percent.

The new testing site in Albany County is Walgreens at 41 Holland Ave. The free tests will use a self-collection model; residents will stay in their cars while assisted by pharmacists when necessary. 

This joins the other testing sites in the county:

— Walk-up testing in mobile sites in at-risk neighborhoods run by the county and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center; call 518-465-4771;

—  Drive-through testing by the state at the uptown University at Albany campus; call 888-364-3065;

— Both diagnostic and antibody testing at Priority 1 Urgent Care in Guilderland; call 518-867-8040; or

— Drive-through testing at the Rite-Aid pharmacy in Colonie; go online to


Newest numbers

As of Friday morning, Albany County has 2,499 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 10 new cases since Thursday.

Three of the new patients had close contact with people infected with coronavirus disease 2019, one had reported out-of-state travel, one is a healthcare worker or a resident of a private congregate setting, and five did not have a clear source of infection detected at this time.

The number of county residents under quarantine dropped to 471 from 509 on Thursday. The five-day average for new daily positives has increased to nine from 7.6.

Albany County now has 48 active cases, up from 36 a day ago. So far, 9,397 people have completed quarantine. Of those who completed quarantine, 2,451 of them had tested positive and recovered.

Ten Albany County residents are now hospitalized, with two of them in intensive-care units. The county’s hospitalization rate is now at 0.4 percent.

The county’s death toll from COVID-19 remains at 132.

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