ALBANY — The county has been on a “rollercoaster” over the past several days with just three positive cases reported on Tuesday, 21 cases a day later and 13 from Wednesday to Thursday.
Since the first positive case on March 12, there have been a total of 2,396 positive cases in Albany County with 129 fatalities. The latest occurred at a private nursing home on Tuesday, when a man in his 90s with underlying health conditions succumbed to the virus.
As of Thursday, there were 425 people under mandatory quarantine, up from 369 on Wednesday. There are 40 active cases in Albany County, down from 42, and there are 2,356 people who tested positive for the virus and recovered.
There are still six individuals hospitalized for a rate of 0.25 percent. There is one patient in the ICU.
Over the past two weeks, the majority of new cases are health care workers, those who travelled to other states and those who have come into close contact with an infected person.
“We have been on a rollercoaster,” said County Executive Dan McCoy of the numbers as of late. “It’s been five months since our first case and it has been a long five months for everyone … I’m sure it feels like five years to some people.”
The county hit what everyone hopes is its peak on April 30, when there were 94 new cases reported, 34 county residents hospitalized and 10 residents were in the ICU. Since March, there was only one day, June 23, when there was not a reported new case.
The county Department of Health is conducting contact tracing for each positive case that begins with a phone call. McCoy and Dr. Elizabeth Whalen are asking people to pick up the phone and help out.
“If someone calls you they should not ask for your Social Security number or bank account information. That is a scam. All they want to do is find out where you have been and who you had contact with,” McCoy said. “We can only help the community if we know how it is effecting the community.”
With school opening buildings next month, Whalen said she understands the anxiety but many schools opening in other parts of the country would not meet New York state standards. The state has said schools can open if the infection rate is below 5 percent and right now it is hovering around 1 percent.
“None of us are living in a risk free environment but it is about embracing the learning curve and figuring out how to embrace the strategies that provide the best controls,” Whalen said. “Of course we have to be vigilant, and there has to be a lot of communication but the reassurance is the county Health Department will investigate every case and take appropriate action.”