Melissa Hale-Spencer

“I knew I’d live,” said Gabriel Zullo, who is in remission after more than a year battling Ewing sarcoma. 

The state’s new rules, for indoors, “strongly encourage” but do not require masks for students or campers and staff who are not fully vaccinated. Outdoors, masks are not required although students, campers, and staff who are not fully vaccinated are “encouraged” to wear a mask in certain higher-risk circumstances. Both indoors and outdoors, students, campers, and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks. Finally, schools and camps may choose to implement stricter standards.

As part of the initiative, which will focus on arts like music and theater, as well as education, caregivers for the elderly will be able to leave the people at the campus for a day or even a week when they need respite.

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.”

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