ALBANY — As the statewide shutdown is extended until May 15, there were 563 positive cases in Albany County, up from 515 on Wednesday, with 668 under mandatory quarantine and 66 under precautionary quarantine.
On Wednesday, there were 663 under mandatory quarantine and 71 under precautionary quarantine in Albany County.
There are 32 people in the hospital for an overall hospitalization rater of 5.7 percent, said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy during his daily briefing.
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Saratoga County reported 231 cases as of Thursday, with 245 in Schenectady County and 137 in Rensselaer County.
Meanwhile, McCoy said the county could levy up to $1,000 fine if people do not abide by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate to wear masks while in public if the six-foot social distance cannot be achieved.
“The sheriff and local police department don’t want to do that so just do what is right and wear a mask or stay six feet away,” McCoy said.
The mask mandate will go in effect across the state for anyone over 2 years old on Friday. Masks are considered an effective method of preventing a person from spreading the virus by capturing aerosol droplets but not effective in preventing a person from getting it.
There have been 20 Albany County residents who have died of COVID-19 but none from Wednesday to Thursday. All but one have been over 60 years old and all have had underlying health issues.
Statewide there were 606 deaths from Wednesday to Thursday bringing the total to 12,192 with the vast majority from New York City and downstate counties.
But, Cuomo said during his daily briefing, prior to extending the shutdown for another month, the raw number of hospitalizations continue to go down, the three-day hospitalization rate continues to go down, ICU admissions continue to go down and the number of new diagnoses continues to go down.
Despite the positive signs that indicate spread of the virus has plateaued if not peaked, he said the key to opening back up is the infection rate and how readily an infected person spreads the virus. Right now t
If one person infects less than one other person, he said, the infection rate is on the decline. If that person infects one other person the spread is stabilized, and if that person infects more than one person spread is on the rise.
Right now, the rate of spread is at .9, he said.
Any move to re-open the state will be phased, he said, an will include a re-calibration of what businesses are essential and the likelihood that business, in the normal course of business, will spread the virus.
Another key component is more community testing. Right now, only those who have come into contact with a person who is infected and those who are showing signs of COVID-19 — fever, cough or shortness of breath — are being tested.
Locally, testing at UAlbany continues and there is now a walk in testing facility at Whitney Young Health Care at 920 Lark Drive in Albany from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are also two mobile testing sites that will set up shop at different sites around Albany County.
On Friday, the mobile unit will be at the Bleeker Terrace Apartments from 9 a.m. to noon and then at the Watervliet Health Center on Second Avenue.
To make an appointment at the UAlbany call 888-364-3065 to get a PIN number. For the other sites call 518-465-4771 to make an appointment.
Tests will not be given without making a phone call and only if there is reason for the test.