ALBANY — There are 309 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, up nine from Monday, with 459 under mandatory quarantine, up from 340 yesterday, while the number under precautionary quarantine stayed the same at 57.
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The large jump in those under mandatory quarantine came from contact within different services such as firefighters being exposed to infected firefighters and EMS personnel being exposed to infected EMS personnel, said County Executive Dan McCoy during his daily briefing.
The latest update comes when community testing ramps up at the UAlbany campus. Those numbers, which should start to come in for analysis later this week, will give the Capital District a better idea of how it is being impacted by COVID-19.
“We are hearing every day, at the Health Department, from patients who are experiencing symptoms very consistent with COVID-19, and who are in all likelihood have COVID-19 but to date, have not been able to access the testing,” said Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the county Health Department. “This is changing this week.”
Community testing was halted in Albany County when hospitals shut down sites and instead reserved the limited number of tests for those who had symptoms bad enough to require hospitalization and health care professionals and first responders.
The data will also give a better indication of when things will start opening back up.
“The governor shut everything down until the end of April and now he is talking about going beyond that,” McCoy said. “I see the light at the end of the tunnel probably around April 23 or April 24 but we will know more around the middle of next week.”
There has not been a death to COVID-19 in Albany County since Sunday. Eight people have died since the pandemic outbreak. All of whom are over 60 years old and all had underlying health issues.
As of Sunday, according to the state Department of Health, there were 62 cases of COVID-19 in Rensselaer County, 153 in Saratoga County and 138 in Schenectady County.
The UAlbany test site, which the state and regional hospitals opened on Monday, will eventually test up to 1,000 people a day from across the Capital District. Anyone who wants to get tested can call 888-364-3065 to get a pin number. People will not get a test without a pin number.