ALBANY — Five more cases of COVID-19 are tied to a large Fourth of July party on Hudson Avenue bringing the total number to 11.
In all, on Thursday there are 13 new cases in Albany County, said County Executive Dan McCoy during a press briefing, for a total of 2,066 since the pandemic began in March. There are 580 county residents under quarantine and 1,982 residents who tested positive have recovered. There has not been a fatality since the 121st county resident died on June 24.
There are still just two people hospitalized for a rate of .09 percent.
“What we have seen happen in the past is first we see a spike in cases, then we see a spike in hospitalizations and then we see a spike in deaths and we don’t want to see that again,” said Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the county Health Department. “What you did yesterday, what you do today and what you do tomorrow will impact what happens in two weeks.”
The block party along Hudson Avenue was attended largely by those of college age and that demographic is of the most concern because they do not show signs or symptoms but could unknowingly infect others more susceptible to serious ramifications, namely the older and those with underlying health conditions.
Twenty-year-olds represent the highest number of infections in the county with 383. Second are 50-year-olds with 337 and a distant third are the 30-year-olds with 268 positive cases.
“Why didn’t we see a big spike after the protest? 99 percent had masks on and they are within that age group,” McCoy said. “How many of these kids have it, but are not showing symptoms so it’s not effecting them and they are not getting tested. The number would be 10 times higher if these kids came forward and got tested.”
Anyone who was at the Hudson Avenue party is urged to call the Albany County Department of Health at (518) 447-4640 to get expedited testing.
“It is very important for the control of COVID to identify and isolate cases of as quick as possible,” Whalen said. “We appeal to people’s higher sense. It’s difficult because across the country we don’t have a unifying message. In other countries, everyone is on the same page, everyone works together.”
Also, from Wednesday to Thursday, there were four health care workers who tested positive including two workers at Shaker Place, the county run nursing home in Colonie.
On Wednesday, the county reported a spike of 44 cases, the highest since 37 was reported on June 1. That increase pushed the county infection rate to 2.1 percent making it the highest in the state. To compare, New York City’s infection rate was 1.3 percent.