Melissa Hale-Spencer

The number of overdoses in Albany County for 2020 represents a 68-percent increase from the annual average over the last five years. Fentanyl — a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is increasingly illicitly manufactured — was present in 88 percent of all county opioid overdoses last year. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance on effective mask-wearing and also releasing fully vaccinated people from quarantine restrictions.

New York State is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify additional sites outside of New York City to launch targeted efforts focused on vaccine equity and improving access to socially vulnerable populations; each site is to vaccinate 1,000 New Yorkers per day. 

New York along with a score of other states is now below the 5-percent threshold that the World Health Organization advised governments to reach, and hold for 14 days, before reopening.

With the addition of people with comorbidities, about 10 million New Yorkers are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. The state gets about 300,000 doses each week and the vaccines require two doses.

“As of today, following the science, scrimmages and games can start if the school has submitted everything they need to submit,”said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy.

The latest residents to succumb to the virus are  a woman in her eighties and a man in his nineties, bringing Albany County’s death toll to 332.

As of Feb. 6, Albany County had administered 90 percent of its doses, according to the state’s vaccine dashboard, which now also tracks statewide demographic data.

The governor’s office on Friday released numbers on three different groups eligible for COVID-19 vaccination — hospital workers, essential workers, and people 65 and older — which showed, in each group, Blacks were under-represented.

Nursing students at Maria College are “battle hardened” as they help during the pandemic, said the college’s president. Similarly, the president of Russell Sage College says his students are learning life lessons about serving the common good.


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