Two more county COVID deaths, three more state Omicron cases

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff
A pediatric vial of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is readied at Guilderland Elementary School on Nov. 22. The school is holding another clinic on Dec. 13, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Two more county residents died of COVID-19 and another 206 new cases were reported Saturday morning as the surge continues.

The latest victims were a man in his forties and a woman in her seventies, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy announced in his daily release on COVID Saturday morning.

This brings Albany County’s death toll from the virus to 451.

At the same time, Governor Kathy Hochul announced three more confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, all from New York City.

This brings the state’s total of the highly contagious new variant, thus far, to eight: Seven cases from New York City and one from Suffolk County on Long Island.

“At this time, we do not know how quickly Omicron will spread or how severe the symptoms of Omicron will be,” said the state’s health commissioner, Mary Bassett, in a release. “What we are seeing is that the rise of cases across New York State continues to be traced to the Delta variant. We encourage all New Yorkers to use the best preventative tools we have: get vaccinated, get boosted and wear a mask.”

McCoy had a similar message in his release: “This pandemic has taken its toll on so many of us and I know everyone wants it to be over. But we also know that COVID isn’t done with us yet, and we need to continue the mitigation strategies that are proven to slow the spread of the virus,” he said.

“Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already,” McCoy went on, “get a booster shot if you’ve gotten vaccinated at least six months ago, get tested and wear a mask indoors and at crowded places.”

Adults who initially were vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech are eligible for a booster shot six months after their second shot; adults who were initially vaccinated with on-shot Johnson & Johnson are eligible for a booster shot after two months.

As of Friday, 75.8 percent of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 68.1 percent have been fully vaccinated. The first-dose vaccination rate for county residents who are 18 and older is now 85 percent.

Albany County’s five-day average of new daily positive cases is now up to 198.2. There are now 667 active cases in the county, down from 675 on Friday.

The county’s most recent seven-day average of percent positive rate is now up to 6.7 percent and the Capital Region’s average rate remained at 8.2 percent. 

The number of county residents under mandatory quarantine decreased to 1,002 from 1,099.  

There were eight new hospitalizations since Friday, and there are now a total of 47 county residents hospitalized with the coronavirus — a net increase of three. Seven of those hospital patients are now in intensive-care units, down from 10 yesterday.

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