Melissa Hale-Spencer

As Albany County’s death toll from COVID-19 climbed to nine this week, county officials are pleased that community testing has started again

“Internationally and globally, air traffic is down well over 90 percent … That has been devastating to the industry but it is a necessary pain to go through to deal with this virus and get it under control,” said Phil Calderone, chief executive officer of Albany International Airport.

The State Education Department has cancelled the June Regents exams and on Tuesday issued guidelines for graduation.

“When we finally come out of the other side of this crisis,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy of the pandemic, “we need to jumpstart the economy.” A plan presented Tuesday calls for the creation of an independent public-private organization and a comprehensive plan for Albany County.

Peter Barber, Guilderland’s supervisor, announced on Tuesday afternoon, that two paramedics in the town’s EMS had tested positive for the disease. “Both medics are asymptomatic and resting well at home under quarantine,” Barber said.

“Words are only 15 percent of communication. This virus has stolen from us some of the most important things it means to be human — to be together, to gather for a meal and eat, to hold the hand of a dying person,” says Christopher DeGiovine, the priest at St. Matthew’s Church in Voorheesville.

“We are hopeful we will not be as hard hit as some of the downstate counties but we don’t know that yet,” said Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen on Monday as community testing starts again.

Karen Ziegler, the director of the county’s Victim and Sexual Violence Center, tells people who may be suffering abuse as they are isolated in their households, “We want you to know we are available for you 24/7.” The center’s hotline phone number is 518-447-7716. 

McCoy said the outbreak in the county, now in its fourth week, is not expected to peak for another 18 days, naming April 23 as a potential apex for the outbreaks. “It’s going to get worse … We’re going to get to the top and then we’ll go down,” he said.

“By the end of the week, our numbers will probably double,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy as community testing resumes on Monday.


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