Melissa Hale-Spencer

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said that 20.5 percent of the county’s population has gotten at least a first shot of COVID-19 vaccine, the second highest rate in the Capital Region and one of the highest rates in the state.

New York State is setting up new sites solely to administer the recently-approved single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which is just as effective in preventing hospitalization and death as the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, according to clinical trials, although not as effective in preventing mild cases of the virus.

Albany County’s executive, Daniel McCoy, said on Wednesday he had scored so many doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the state that he was sharing them with neighboring Rensselaer and Schenectady counties.

Nursing homes in the United States have seen the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started tracking cases in May 2020, suggesting that the vaccines are working.

“A lot of folks that know me and the agency that I oversee, we’re very community oriented and I think our staff does a great job. Many things we’ve already banned way prior to the horrific incident that happened with George Floyd,” Sheriff Craig Apple told the legislative committee accepting his draft for reform.

At the same time more vaccine doses are being made available, more people are becoming eligible in New York State. Food-pantry workers have been added to the list of essential workers. 

“We went through a month of hell,” the county’s sheriff said.

The county’s executive, Daniel McCoy, announced on Sunday that the sheriff’s office will be receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses from the state to inoculate residents who are homebound.

A New York variant of the virus, known as B.1.526, has been increasing in recent weeks. 

The Albany Alternative Treatment Court will be the first mental health court in the 3rd Judicial District, one of 31 such courts across the state with four more being planned. It was the “missing piece” in a continuum of services Albany County offers to mentally ill residents.

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