Melissa Hale-Spencer

As of Wednesday evening, 62.2 percent of Albany County’s residents had received at least one dose of vaccine as had 73.0 percent of county residents 18 or older. The number of residents attending the large points of dispensing or PODs run by the county has greatly decreased; this week, just 12 doses were administered at the county’s POD. The county has shifted its focus to community-based PODs.

“We’ll start small and we’ll work our way up,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. “I firmly believe, if we can knock off a lot of the low-level stuff, a lot of the big stuff will take care of itself. And we want the criminals to know you are not welcome in the city of Albany.”

Thompsons Lake campground in the Helderbergs is among the state sites opening for Memorial Day weekend. Twenty-two beaches, pools and spraygrounds are opening at normal capacity. Unvaccinated visitors should wear a face covering when unable to maintain social distance outdoors and, for the safety of park staff, all visitors are required to wear a face covering inside park buildings.

Early voting starts June 12; Primary Day is June 22.

Throughout the week, the state and county offered incentives for residents to get vaccinated. Youth in Albany County are being offered free tickets to a lacrosse game while youth across the state are being offered a chance to win scholarships to state schools.

SLINGERLANDS — On Saturday evening, May 22, a box truck traveling east on Route 85 struck the underpass of the county’s rail-trail bridge.

“I feel unwelcome here. I feel alienated, I feel attacked, and I feel scared ….,” said Savanna Jiang in a speech that at times sounded like a poem. She concluded, “We must demand change …. It begins right here.”

While Governor Andrew Cuomo was at Jones Beach on Long Island, pushing “a shot in the park” incentive, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy on Monday offered another sports-related incentive for local youth to get vaccinated.

The county will run a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on May 29 at the Beaver Street entrance of the Times Union Center where anyone can get vaccinated — with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson — and also get a free ticket for a future game. A Vax Block Party will be held on the mezzanine with live entertainment and food and drinks for the fully vaccinated.

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said on Thursday that points of dispensing, or PODs, will be set up in Albany on Saturday and in Ravena on Wednesday. “We know bringing small PODs directly to residents in their own neighborhoods is the best way to ensure trust and get to herd immunity, and we’re moving in the right direction,” McCoy said.


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