New York State has released its first annual greenhouse gas emissions report, and it paints a dire image. While emissions are down somewhat from 1990, the report shows the state has a long way to go to achieve the goals it laid out in its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act by the self-set deadline of 2050.

The county has set up an online system, asking residents to fill out a form if they have tested positive for COVID-19: Go to www.AlbanyCounty.com and follow the red COVID-19 information bar at the top of the page to report positive results. So far, county spokeswoman Mary Rozak said on Monday morning, 800 positive tests had been reported through the portal, which was set up last Thursday. “It continues to grow,” she said.

Mary Bassett, the state’s acting health commissioner, said that herd immunity — that is, enough people being vaccinated or having antibodies from having contracted the virus that normal life could resume — “is no longer a useful construct with a virus that mutates as quickly as this one.”

The wave of new COVID-19 cases — presumably heightened by the highly contagious Omicron variant — has not crested for Albany County or the nation.

The health department will not be able to call everyone to quarantine or isolate, said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy at a press conference on Friday morning as he announced 1,003 new COVID-19 cases. “It’s physically impossible to keep up with everything,” he said.

 “As New York State and Albany County work together to continue distributing at-home test kits to schools and the general public, we’re asking everyone who tests positive to submit their results on the county website through the newly added feature. This will allow us to better understand our infection rate and the level of community spread, because right now our daily case numbers likely are artificially low,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy.

“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others,” says the new guidance.

Governor Kathy Hochul encouraged parents to use the school break this week to vaccinate their children.

Jamie Mazuryk estimates that about 90 percent of offers on homes she sold during the pandemic came in over the asking price.

Following evolving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Governor Kathy Hochul said that she is now issuing new guidance for essential workers who have tested positive for COVID to return to work after five days — instead of the previously required 10 days — if they are “fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic or their symptoms have been resolving and they have no fever for the last 72 hours and they don’t have to be taking medication.”

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