ALBANY — For the first time in 60 days there was not one county resident admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.
“We continue to make progress as we work on our regional plan to reopen and one component that is great news today is that there have not been any new hospitalizations in 24 hours. That helps to put us another step closer to getting people back to work,” said County Executive McCoy during his daily briefing on Sunday.
Sheriff Craig Apple, who joined McCoy on Sunday, said for the first time in 33 years the county portable morgue was open for a week but was shut down.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this week extended the state of emergency Executive Order until June 6, but some regions of the state can begin to reopen on May 15 provided they meet seven parameters. The Capital Region — which includes Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Washington, Warren, Columbia and Green counties — fell short on three.
But, McCoy said the county is poised to meet one area it currently does not, the reduction of hospitalizations over a 14-day period.
He also said the county will look to fire departments and the Sheriff’s Office to meet another criteria, the need for 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents. That equals about 90-95 people to trace the history of anyone who tests positive to isolate them as needed.
The final parameter the Capital Region falls short on is administering 30 tests per 1,000 residents per month, but that is a direct result of not having enough testing kits available, McCoy said.
“We can meet six of the seven this week, which is great news, but I will say we are only going to open up under the guidance of the governor and his team,” McCoy said.
McCoy said he will work with the other seven counties and the region will formulate a plan this week and submit it to the governor’s office by Friday.
The region is staying below the maximum number of new deaths in a hospital, new hospitalizations and the percentage of total beds available and the number of ICU beds available is sufficient to begin reopening under Phase I on May 15.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Phase I will include construction and manufacturing and some retail provided it offers curbside pickup of merchandise. Phase II, if the numbers hold and the spread of COVID-19 continues to hold steady or decline, will include retail, finance, real estate and technical services and professional services, McCoy said. The earliest Phase II could happen is June 1, under the governor’s current plan. Phase III, tentatively set for two weeks after Phase II, would include restaurants, bars and hotels with arts and entertainment and sports following in Phase IV.
The individual businesses will have to submit a plan to ensure the safety of workers and customers. That may include checking temperatures as employees enter, reworking the office to maintain social distancing protocols, a sanitization plan and/or requiring to customers to wear masks.
As of Sunday, there were 1,345 confirmed cases with 971 under mandatory quarantine and 15 people under precautionary quarantine. There were 3,154 people who completed quarantine with 813 who tested positive and recovered.
There are 28 people hospitalized for a rate of 2.1 percent.
There were no deaths reported from Saturday to Sunday. The death toll for the county now stands at 59.