ALBANY — As of Sunday morning, there are 115 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Albany County with 318 under mandatory quarantine and 634 people under precautionary quarantine. There were 89 cases on Saturday.
Statewide, the number of confirmed cases on Sunday was 15,168, with 1,974 hospitalize and 114 deaths. The state has tested more than 61,400 people, more than any other state in the country and more, per capita, than any country in the world, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo at his daily press briefing.
He and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy have said the more tests taken will increase the number of positive results.
There are 54 cases in Saratoga County and 27 cases in Rensselaer County.
Of the 114 people who have died from the virus statewide, 70 percent are at least 70 years old and the majority of those had underlying health problems. Of the remaining 30 percent, 80 percent of those who died had underlying health conditions, Cuomo said.
Still, the number of cases requiring hospitalization is running between 13 and 15 percent, he said, “and that is an issue.” In Albany County, the hospitalization rate is at about 5 percent, McCoy said, with six currently hospitalized for the virus.
“Right now, we have 53,000 hospital beds available and the curve suggests we could need 110,000 hospital beds and that is a problem,” Cuomo said, while outlining plans to convert downstate facilities into make-shift hospitals.
Both Cuomo and McCoy reiterated their call to the federal government to help with medical supplies like masks, gowns and ventilators. Right now, Cuomo said, he is competing with other states and countries for the scant supply of gear which is driving prices up. For example, an N95 mask which would cost .85 cents on a normal day is now going for $7.
He urged Pres. Donald Trump to implement the Defense Production Act, which would mandate companies shift production models and make safety equipment and supplies for hospital workers and others on the front lines of the virus.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said there are those who have not tested positive misusing masks for personal protection and as such they are going to waste.
Masks help prevent someone who has tested positive from spreading the disease, but they do little to prevent someone who has not tested positive from getting it because they are likely not properly fitted to an individual’s face.
On a positive note, Apple said the number of law enforcement calls has dipped a little while mass gatherings are prohibited, bars and restaurants are closed except for takeout and people are staying home.
“We have had a minor spike in domestics, which will probably continue to rise as everyone is confined to their house and everyone is a bit antsy,” he said. “We also have deputies riding around with EMS not so much as for security but as an extra body and to provide assistance.”
McCoy said anyone who is stressed out because of the current situation can use the county’s new Mental Health Support Line for support. That number is operational seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling (518) 269-6634.
Anyone experiencing a psychiatric emergency should still call the Albany County Mobile Crisis Team at (518) 549–6500.
Also, anyone who would like to volunteer for the Albany County Medical Reserve Corps to help the response to COVID-19, please visit the below website to register. The Department of Health has a higher demand for especially looking for help answering phones and making calls to residents under quarantine. For additional assistance, you can call the Department of Health’s MRC Coordinator at (518) 447-4610: http://www.albanycounty.com/mrc