Another COVID-19 death brings county toll to 145

ALBANY COUNTY — Another Albany County resident — a woman in her seventies with underlying health conditions who lived in a nursing home — has died of COVID-19.

That brings the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 145.

“Our numbers have gone up in every category,” said Albany County executive Daniel McCoy in announcing the latest COVID-19 data at a Thursday morning press conference.

Because of the surge in cases he has resumed the daily press conference he had held in the spring.

Statewide, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced, based on Wednesday’s test results, the positivity rate was 2.95 percent. In the micro-cluster zones, where over-sampling is done and restrictions are in place, the positivity rate was 4.86 percent.

“COVID is raging nationally, setting record numbers of cases and hospitalizations with each passing day,” Cuomo said in a statement, announcing the numbers. “While New York is doing better than just about any state in the United States, we are not immune from the national trend. Now it’s up to what we do. There is no predestined future here. It’s a pure consequence of our actions.”

All of the state’s 10 regions are above the once-targeted 1-percent positivity rate. The Capital Region, of which Albany County is a part, is at 2.0 percent based on Wednesday’s test results.

Only two regions — the North Country and the Southern Tier — are below 2 percent. The highest is Western New York at 5.5 percent.

As of Thursday morning, Albany County has 4,188 confirmed cases with 77 new cases since Wednesday, McCoy announced.

Of the new cases, 42 had close contact with someone infected with the disease, two reported traveling out of state, 32 did not have a clear source of infection identified at this time, and one is a health-care worker or a resident of a congregate setting.

Currently, the county has 1,520 residents under quarantine, up from 1,492

“We have more people under quarantine than ever before,” said McCoy.

The five-day average for new daily positives rose to 67.6 from 66, which “has again hit a new high,” said McCoy.

There are now 483 active cases in the county, up from 416 on Wednesday. So far, 18,315 county residents have completed quarantine. Of those, 3,705 had tested positive and recovered.

Eight COVID-19 cases are associated with a real-estate show where staff was housed at the Desmond Hotel in Colonie, said McCoy.

He also announced that a worker at the Olive Garden restaurant on Wolf Road in Colonie had tested positive. Anyone who was at the Olive Garden on Sunday, Nov. 8, between 3 and 9 p.m. is advised to call the county’s health department at 518-447-4659.

As of Nov. 12, for the two-week period beginning Nov. 7, UAlbany has an estimated 103 positive test results, according to the SUNY COVID-19 Tracker set up by the state. Since testing began on Aug. 28, UAlbany has had an estimated 349 cases.

Until Thursday, the tracker had said UAlbany had 230 rooms set aside for quarantine. On Wednesday, 220 of those rooms were in use. On Thursday evening, the tracker said there are now 321 rooms available for quarantine and 150 are in use.

The protocol is, once someone is exposed to the virus, he or she must quarantine for two weeks, since that is the incubation period for COVID-19.

The state requires that a SUNY campus with more than 100 cases in a discrete two-week period move to remote-only classes for two weeks. UAlbany moved to remote-only classes on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The last day of classes is Tuesday, Nov. 24, followed by final exams from Monday, Nov. 30, through Monday, Dec. 7, which were already scheduled to be conducted remotely. Students will be tested for COVID-19 before they return home for Thanksgiving. The UAlbany spring semester will begin on Feb. 1, 2021.

Nine new COVID-19 patients were hospitalized overnight, while the number of county residents currently hospitalized due to the virus increased to 37 from 35. Six patients are in intensive-care units. The county’s hospitalization rate has gone up to 0.88 percent from 0.85 percent.

“The last time we had this many people hospitalized was April 29,” said McCoy.

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