ALBANY — The county, on Tuesday, released a website showing the spread of COVID-19 based on zip code, age, race and other demographic data.
The hardest hit zip code in Albany County, according to the new site, is 12203, which runs along Western Avenue from roughly Washington Park to the Pine Bush. There are 81 positive cases in that zip code.
Also, from Monday to Tuesday, two more residents have died, said County Executive Dan McCoy during his daily press briefing. Two men in their 80s with underlying health conditions who were living at Shaker Place, the county nursing home in Colonie, were the most recent fatalities.
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There are now 25 Albany County residents who have died since the pandemic outbreak. All but one were older than 60 and all but one had underlying health issues.
As of Tuesday, there are 678 positive cases, up 22 from Monday, with 754 under mandatory quarantine, down 30 from Monday, and 41 under precautionary quarantine, up 11.
There are 40 people hospitalized for a rate of 4.2 percent, down from nearly 6 percent late last week, with nine people in the ICU.
At Shaker Place, 22 residents tested positive, as have 10 employees. One employee has recovered and returned to work.
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the Albany County Health Department, said an analysis of the data is an ongoing process.
“The vast majority of people tested in Albany County are negative,” she said. “We are still seeing pretty steady rates since the [testing] sites were implemented. We are getting between 20 and 30 positive cases most days. There has not been a spike and we have not seen a spike in hospitals.”
Based on the data available now, about 25 percent of the positive cases are health care workers, the majority of positive cases are among people 50 to 59 but there are cases in all decades of life and 48 percent of the positive cases are male.
“The graphs we are looking at look pretty steady. We have not hit a plateau anywhere near what they hit downstate,” she said. “What are our graphs indicate to us is that what we are doing as far as social distancing is working. The question is what happens next? The demographics are a little different for upstate so I think there is going to be some discussion on that going forward. I think the antibody tests will inform us of what the next steps are.”
The county has tested 7,135 of the population of 320,000. For weeks testing was reserved for those symptomatic enough to require hospitalization, health care workers and first responders. A community test site was established at UAlbany, and there are now three mobile test sites circulating around the county. In addition, Rite Aid in Colonie will be doing drive through testing for the virus and for antibodies, or those who have been infected but have recovered, starting on Wednesday.
The first case in Albany County was reported on March 11. A graph on the website shows spikes in positive cases as the testing site ramped up and depressions when the site was closed because of, for example, high winds.
To get tested at UAlbany, a person must call 888-364-3065 to get a PIN. To get tested at one of the Albany County test sites a person must call 518-456-4771. To sign up for a test at Rite Aid at the intersection of Central Avenue and Route 155, visit riteaid.com. None of the sites will test without a phone call or registering.
The vast majority of people who get the virus are asymptomatic or do not require medical treatment beyond a few days on the couch. The elderly and those with underlying health issues are much more vulnerable to serious ramifications.