ALBANY —A third resident of Shaker Place, the county nursing home, has died of COVID-19, a man in his 60s with underlying health issues.
It makes the 31st Albany County resident who has died from the virus, said County Executive Dan McCoy during his daily briefing.
Of the 31 people who died, all but one were less than 60 years old and all but one had underlying health issues.
The two residents of Shaker Place who died earlier in the pandemic were both in their 80s with underlying health issues. The latest had been transferred from Shaker Place and died at St. Peter’s Hospital.
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Across Albany County, as of Friday there were 784 positive cases, up 45 from Thursday. There are 753 under mandatory quarantine, down from 772 on Thursday, and the number of precautionary quarantine has not changed at 54.
There are 30 Albany County residents hospitalized, which is unchanged, for a rate of 3.8 percent, down from about 4.2 percent.
In Shaker Place, the county nursing home, there are 27 residents and 13 employees who have tested positive with one employee who recovered and is now back to work.
There are more positive cases in Albany County because, in large part, it has more test sites than the surrounding counties. Albany County has conducted more than 7,500 people, more than twice the number of tests in each of Schenectady, Saratoga and Rensselaer counties.
As of Friday, there were 265 cases in Saratoga County, 288 in Schenectady County and 191 in Rensselaer County.
There are six sites in Albany County conducting tests but only for those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 — cough, fever and shortness of breath. To get a PIN for the state-run site at UAlbany call 888-364-3065, to sign up for one of the counties four sites call 518-456-4771 and to sign up for the site at the Rite Aid located at the intersection of Route 155 and Central Avenue visit riteaid.com.
Statewide, the number of hospitalizations is down, the three-day average of hospitalizations is down and the number of people on a ventilator continues to decrease, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his daily briefing.
There were, though, 428 fatalities from Thursday to Friday bringing the total number to more than 15,740 statewide.
On Thursday, he state released the results of a random sample of 3,000 people to see if they have COVID-19 antibodies in their system. It found that nearly 14 percent of people statewide, or some 2.7 million, had developed antibodies indicating they were infected with the virus and were either asymptomatic or had symptoms not severe enough to warrant even a test.
With the increased number of people found to have had the virus, the fatality rate, once thought to be as high as 3 percent, is about 0.5 percent of those who are infected.
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the Albany County Health Department, said there is both good news and bad with those results that found 3.6 percent of upstate had developed an internal immunity to the disease.
“The good news is a lot of what we are doing with social distancing is working,” she said. “The bad news is a vast majority of residents are not immune to COVID-19 and therefore still susceptible to it. There are not a significant number of individuals who do not have natural protection. This is going to continue until there is a significant amount of immunity to this problem or there is a vaccine and the vaccine is 12 months out.”
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said he has gotten some 70 complaints of people congregating and bars and restaurants conducting business in violation of a statewide shutdown order. The majority, he said, were unfounded with the handful of people who were in violation obliging by cease and desist orders.
He did say he does have concerns about mental health issues going forward, though. Earlier this week, deputies talked a 64-year-old woman off the ledge at Thacher Park because, he said, she was overwhelmed with the fact she “could not be out and about and could not see her grandchildren.”
“That’s damn sad. We are going to see more of that and when people can get evicted from their homes and apartments and when people go into foreclosure and some businesses don’t open back up,” he said. “I think we are going to have a lot of issues.”
There have been no confirmed cases of prisoners of jail guards in Albany County, he said.