ALBANY — Two more county residents died from Wednesday to Thursday bringing the total to 11. One was a female in her 70s and another in her 80s. Both had underlying health issues.
All 11 people were older than 60 and all had underlying health issues.
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The number of positive cases in Albany County jumped to 365 on Thursday, up 35 from Wednesday. There are 477 people under mandatory quarantine and 50 under precautionary quarantine, said County Executive Dan McCoy during his daily press briefing. On Wednesday, there were 441 under mandatory and 43 under precautionary quarantine.
There are 34 residents hospitalized with 14 adults in the ICU.
Statewide, 799 people died from Wednesday to Thursday, which is a new one-day record high with 779 reported on April 7 and 731 deaths reported on April 6. The total number of fatalities, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, now stands at 7,067.
The people who are dying, though, likely came into the hospitals days ago when the number of new hospital patients was increasing. On Thursday, the statewide total number of new hospitalizations rates was at 200, the lowest since 121 people were admitted on March 18. The three-day average of people hospitalized and patients requiring a ventilator also continues to go down.
Cuomo once said the state would need 110,000 hospital beds, and mandated hospitals across the state to increase capacity by at least 50 percent. He converted places like the Javits Center into hospitals and a federal hospital ship is now docked in New York Harbor. There are 90,000 beds available statewide now, and there are about 18,000 people in them.
“You can flatten the curve by what we are doing and we are flattening the curve so far,” Cuomo said during his daily press briefing. “This is all a direct consequence of our actions. If we stop acting how we are acting the numbers will go up.”
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the county Health Department, said the county can expect a spike in the number of positive cases as more Capital District residents are tested at UAlbany, which set up a community test site on Monday, April 6. She said 14 new positive cases came from results from that site, but it does take a few days to get and properly compile the results and other data before they are ready for public consumption.
Prior to Monday, a limited number of kits in upstate and across the country all but stopped community testing and instead only those with symptoms bad enough for hospitalization, health care professionals and first responders were tested.
Anyone who has symptoms — fever, cough and shortness of breath — can call 888-364-3065 for a pin number. A pin number is required for anyone to get a test at UAlbany. Earlier this week, a test site was also set up in Queensbury for residents of the North Country.
As of Thursday, there were four Rensselaer County residents who died, five Saratoga County residents and seven Schenectady County residents. There were about 420 positive cases in the three counties.
Meanwhile, the Rensselaer County Health Department said an Albany County resident working at the Stewart’s shop at 8 Vandenburg Avenue in Troy tested positive. Anyone who was at the shop between March 27 and March 31 and are showing symptoms are asked to call the Health Department at 518-270-2655.
Whalen, while hesitant to advise people wear masks, said people should consider it because they can promote “source control.”
While masks, unless they are of the proper grade and properly used, do not protect a person from contracting the virus, any type of mask can help prevent a person from spreading it around.
“If you happened to be someone who has a mild case of CODIV-19, or you are pre-symptomatic, and we know that individuals can start to spread COVID-19 before they develop symptoms, a mask can help protect others,” she said.
If someone is making homemade masks, she said they can drop them off at the Health Department or she recommends dropping them off at grocery stores and other “essential” establishments that are still open.