ALBANY — Golf courses and marinas can open and marriages can take place via Zoom.
Meanwhile, there are 621 confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases in Albany County on Saturday, up from 574 on Friday. There are 747 people under mandatory quarantine, up 31 from Friday, and 51 under precautionary quarantine, up two from Friday.
“We are seeing the tests results come in from UAlbany, more and more people are utilizing it,” said County Executive Dan McCoy during his daily briefing. “We thought the number would be higher by this time, but testing takes time.”
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As of Saturday, there are 35 Albany County residents in the hospital for a rate of 5.63 percent.
Twenty residents have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began spreading. All but one were older than 60 years old and all had underlying health issues. The last death was reported on April 15.
At Shaker Place, the Albany County Nursing home, there are 13 residents with COVID-19 and five employees. One employee who tested positive has recovered and returned to work. McCoy said Shaker Place is totally locked down and residents are getting tested and employees are getting screened before they are allowed in the building.
He said he tried to visit on Friday but was not allowed access.
There are 259 reported cases in Saratoga County, 259 in Schenectady County and 164 in Rensselaer County. There have been a total of 24 residents of those three counties who have died.
In addition to UAlbany, there are four testing sites in Albany County, three are mobile and one is at the Whitney Young Jr. Health Center. The schedule of where the sites will be this coming week is below. You must call 518-456-4771 to get an appointment and only those who are showing symptoms will get a test. The mobile test sites were announced earlier this week and so far it has tested 110 people.
Anyone who wants a test at UAlbany must call 888-364-3065 to get a PIN.
Statewide, 540 people died from Friday to Saturday, the lowest number in six days, but bring the total number of fatalities to nearly 12,200 with the great majority of those in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. Also, according to the state Department of Health, the percentage of those who have died and who have underlying health issues is now up to 88.7 percent.
Thirty six of the deaths occurred in nursing homes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily briefing.
The number of new hospitalizations, the three day average of hospitalizations and the number of people who are on a ventilator all continue to drop indicating a flattening of the curve.
Some positive, if not confusing news, some golf courses across the state can now re-open, again.
The state did not initially take a stand when they were set to open with arrival of spring.
Then, as they were beginning to open, the Empire State Development Corporation, the agency charged with defining what is essential and non-essential, said they could open with social distancing and other precautions in place.
Then, the ESDC said they could not open.
Now, it’s most recent clarification states they are non-essential, but public and private course can still open so long as there are only essential employees working and that social distancing protocols are followed. Carts are not allowed, and access to locker rooms and bathrooms are restricted.
State courses will remain closed, and it is up to local governments as to open municipal courses. The Town of Colonie’s website says the course is still temporarily closed.
Marinas and boatyards can also open provided social distancing sanitization protocols are followed.
Also, beginning Saturday, April 18, by Executive Order, Cuomo is allowing the witnesses of marriages to take place remotely, provided it is via a live stream between the couple and the presiding official rather than having the vows take place in person.
“There’s now no excuse when the questions comes up for marriage,” Cuomo said. “You can do it by Zoom.”
The times and dates of remote testing sites in Albany County for the coming week are”
- Monday, April 20
-11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Capital South Campus, 20 Warren St., Albany
- Tuesday, April 21
-9 a.m. to noon at Ezra Prentice Homes, 625 South Pearl St., Albany
-1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Watervliet Health Center, 1804 Second Ave., Watervliet
- Wednesday, April 22
-Noon to 4 p.m. at the Capital South Campus, 20 Warren St., Albany
- Thursday, April 23
-9 a.m. to noon at the Bleecker Terrace Apartments, North Manning Blvd., Albany
-1 to 4 p.m. at the Watervliet Health Center, 1804 Second Ave., Watervliet
- Friday, April 24
-Noon to 4 p.m. at Capital South Campus