Melissa Hale-Spencer

While half of the 10 regions in New York State were able to begin the first phase of reopening today, the Capital Region still has to meet two of five metrics.

Letitia James

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis in New York State, the attorney general’s office has been pursuing scammers and price gougers, advocating for small businesses, and protecting nursing-home residents, says Letitia James.

While a fifth region met the seven metrics on Thursday to begin reopening Friday, the Capital Region still hasn’t met the metrics for hospitalization and death rates.

Albany County Executive Daniel Mccoy says that the large number of nursing homes in the Capital Region are keeping the region from meeting one of the metrics needed to reopen.

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said at his Tuesday morning briefing, “Our report is pretty much done; we’re just waiting for sign-off from other counties.” In addition to Albany County, the Capital Region includes Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington counties.

The Albany County Health Department, said its commissioner, Elizabeth Whalen, is “working to make sure we have testing available and education available all across the county to every demographic to make sure everybody is aware of what they can do to prevent their risk and to be tested if they need to.”

Residents and staff at nursing homes now must be tested twice a week for COVID-19, and patients with the disease can no longer be housed at nursing homes but will, instead, stay in hospitals.

No inmates at the Albany County jail have contracted COVID-19, said Sheriff Craig Apple. New arrivals are quarantined for 14 days, Apple said, and all of the inmates and staff have masks.

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said that the eight counties in the Capital Region — Albany, Columbia, Greene, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren, and Washington — now meet five out of the seven metrics outlined by Governor Andrew Cuomo for reopening.

More than half of Albany County’s jobs fall in the second phase, outlined by the governor for reopening businesses, which would mean June at the earliest.


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