ALBANY — On Monday, April 5 community testing began again and officials should get a better idea of how much the virus is spreading and a better picture of where the Capital District stands in relation to the COVID-19 curve.
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“Today’s development is a great shift for us,” Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the county Health Department said. “To date, we have not been able to look at this with any meaningful epidemiological perspective as far as knowing where we are in the curve. The next two weeks are going to be very important for us.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the state shutdown of all non-essential businesses, and all schools, through April 29.
The testing site at UAlbany is a collaboration between the state, UAlbany and Capital District hospitals. Anyone who is showing symptoms — cough, fever or shortness of breath — or show has come in contact with someone who has tested positive, can call the hotline at 888-364-3065 to get a pin number. People will not be able to get a test without a pin number.
Community testing in the Capital District, and in large part across the country, was shut down about two weeks ago when a short supply of tests were only being used to test those showing symptoms who might need hospitalization, health care professionals and first responders.
Whalen and County Executive Dan McCoy said data should be coming in over the next week that goes beyond the number of people who have symptoms bad enough to possibly require hospitalization and health care professionals.
“What are our true numbers and how can you map and track this. Did we reach our plateau. Did we see our peak,” McCoy said. “You are powerless without knowing how many people have it and how many people have it and don’t realize it and might be spreading it. This week is going to be a tale for us. We are going to be up around 800 or 1,000 or did we plateau.”
As of Monday, there are 300 positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County with 340 under mandatory quarantine and 57 under precautionary quarantine.
There were no deaths overnight, according to County Executive Dan McCoy during his daily press briefing on Monday, April 6. There are 41 people hospitalized with 15 in the ICU.
On Sunday, there were 280 positive cases with 384 under mandatory quarantine and 72 under precautionary quarantine.
There were two deaths reported from Saturday to Sunday bringing the total number to eight in Albany County. There were no deaths from Sunday to Monday.