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COVID-19 vaccinations

So far, about 18,000 residents in the eight-county Capital Region have been vaccinated, said Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen on Thursday.

“We have 6,500 residents over the age of 65 in Albany County,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy. “We need to identify these places …. so we’re there to protect everyone going forward.”

A new grant program was announced on Wednesday morning — funded for $500,000 — that will give up to $5,000 to businesses that qualify.

“We have paid out more than $59 billion in benefits to over 3.9 million unemployed New Yorkers during this crisis — nearly 28 typical years’ worth of benefits paid in 10 months — and we will continue to move heaven and earth to serve our neighbors,” said Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. 

County officials throughout the week warned that the surge from Christmas gatherings had not yet run its course and urged residents not to party for New Year’s celebrations.

Debbie Scott, who resigned this month as director of the Westerlo Public Library, had held the post for nearly a year-and-a-half. 

Mixed Breed Brewing is a microbrewery founded by Guy Bucey, 36, a veteran and entrepreneur, and four of his friends.

Under the state’s original micro-cluster system, which designated the most severe red zones followed by orange and yellow zones, Albany County would have been named a red zone, the county executive said. Now, the state’s focus is on hospital capacity, where the Capital Region is also struggling.

In two new executive orders on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo froze salaries for statewide elected officials and commissioners and he extended the state’s moratorium on evictions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the questions the state is trying to answer are: “Can you do it? Can you use testing to reopen a business safely? And can you do it on a large scale, which would be the Bills?”

“We want to send a clear signal to the providers that if you violate the law on these vaccinations, we will find out and you will be prosecuted,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Based on Sunday’s test results, the Capital Region’s infection rate is 8.48 percent. Of the state’s 10 regions, only two areas are higher.

The New York Coalition for Open Government is a not-for-profit organization that puts pressure on local governments and public officials to not only follow the laws established by the state, but go beyond those measures to keep citizens in the know. 

The school district continues to plan for the eventuality that the area will be declared a micro-cluster zone, which requires random COVID-19 testing of students and staff for the schools to remain open. So far, about 75 percent of Guilderland respondents have agreed to be tested.

A man in his fifties and a woman in her eighties were the latest to succumb to the virus. This brings Albany County’s COVID-19 death toll to 206.