ALBANY — Rite Aid in Colonie will be offering drive thru testing for COVID-19 provided a person meets the criteria set forth by the federal Center for Disease Control.
The drug store will administer self-swab tests at 1863 Central Ave. starting on Wednesday, April 22. The some 200 daily tests will be administered in the pharmacy’s parking lot and overseen by pharmacists at no cost.
Anyone who would like a test must first go to riteaid.com and fill out a questionnaire to see if they are eligible. In addition to determining if the person has COVID-19 the data will be used by state and federal officials to help track spread of the virus.
Colonie is one of 24 self-swab testing sites across eight states Rite Aid is sponsoring. In Colonie, it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. No tests will be conducted without a person first filling out the questionnaire at riteaid.com.
Meanwhile, the county saw another person die from the virus bringing the total to 23. County Executive Dan McCoy said, during his daily briefing, a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions died from Sunday to Monday.
The number of positive cases in Albany County only went up five from Sunday to Monday to 656, with 784 people under a mandatory two-week quarantine and 30 under precautionary quarantine.
There are 35 people hospitalized for an overall rate of 5.3 percent.
“Our numbers at the moment are steady,” said Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the Albany County Health Department. “We are getting positive cases but we are not moving towards a large spike and we are wondering what that means.”
Community testing has been ongoing at UAlbany for two weeks and Albany County has established four other testing sites and while the numbers are creeping up, they are not going up exponentially.
Statewide, there were 478 fatalities from Sunday to Monday, the lowest number since April 1. The number of hospitalizations continue to drop, the three-day average of hospitalizations continue to go down and the number of people on a ventilator are down. The vast majority of deaths and hospitalizations are in New York City and downstate counties.
On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would announce a plan to allow some upstate hospitals to do some elective surgeries. Last month, he mandated hospitals across the state increase bed capacity by 50 percent to accommodate COVID-19 patients. Those beds remain empty and people seeking elective surgeries are still waiting.