ALBANY — While cases of COVID-19 continue to drop, two more residents of Shaker Place — a man and woman in their 70s with underlying health issues — died of COVID-19 from Sunday to Monday bringing the total number of county fatalities to 61.
It brings the total number of fatalities at Shaker Place, the county run nursing home, to 10 residents, six who died at the nursing home and four in a hospital.
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All but two of the 61 Albany County fatalities were older than 60 and all but one had underlying health issues.
Meanwhile, the number of cases on Monday was 1,363, up just 18 from Sunday. There are 847 under mandatory quarantine, down 124 from Sunday, with 15 under precautionary quarantine.
There are 3,294 Albany County residents who tested positive with 823 who tested positive and recovered.
“As our hospitalization numbers go down and our positive cases go down and more people come off quarantine we are looking at re-opening,” said County Executive Dan McCoy. “But we want to open up in a safe manner in a way that protects the residents first and foremost.”
He said the Capital Region — which encompasses Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Warren, Washington, Columbia and Green counties — will submit a plan to open under Phase I by Friday, May 15, the earliest anything will reopen across the state.
The Capital Region does meet four of the seven parameters to reopen as laid out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and McCoy said he is confident two others can be met by Friday.
The Capital Region does not meet the 14-day decrease in hospitalizations and it does not meet the 14-day decline in the number of deaths in hosptials, according to Cuomo. The number of new hospitalizations does meet the requirements and and the Capital District does have a sufficient percentage of total beds and ICU beds available.
It is testing at least 30 people per 1,000 residents every 30 days and is expected at have least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 people.
To meet the second parameter, McCoy said is looking to Sheriff’s Office and fire departments for assistance.
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the county’s Health Department, said there are currently about 30 contact tracers on staff and that will need to be upped to 90 to 95. She said, a contingent of people will be headed to training at the Bloomberg School of Public Health as are contact tracers from across the state.
Phase I will include construction and manufacturing and will be open on a region by region basis provided the businesses can submit and follow a plan to incorporate social distancing protocols and sanitization practices.
There also has to be a regional control room to monitor the impact of opening and whether or not it increases the spread of the virus and slow down the activity created by reopening accordingly.
The Capital Region control room will consist of top officials from each county government as well as Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Pat Murphy, the head of the Department of Homeland Security for the region, Ruth Mahoney, head of the Regional Economic Development Committee and Mike Blue, president of the Capital Area Labor Federation.
Also, on Monday, Cuomo said some activities will open statewide on May 15 including landscaping and gardening, outdoor low risk activities like tennis and drive-in movie theaters.