ALBANY — So far, there has been nearly as many cases of COVID-19 in October as in April, when the pandemic was just getting a foothold in upstate.
From Oct. 1 through Oct. 15 there were 291 cases in Albany County. From April 1 through April 15, there were 297.
“Is it because we are doing more testing? We don’t know why there is a spike in numbers,” said County Executive Dan McCoy during a press briefing on Thursday, Oct. 15. “This is not going away anytime soon and it is not going away after the election. We are not trying to scare you, or alarm you, we are just asking you to keep doing the right thing — wear a mask, cough into your arm, wash your hands and avoid large gatherings.”
There were 27 new cases reported from Wednesday to Thursday bringing the total of Albany County residents who tested positive to 3,255 since the first case was reported on March 12, 31 weeks ago. Of the new cases, 17 were from a close contact with an infected person, one contracted the virus from out of state and there is no clear source of infection for eight cases.
The number of people under mandatory quarantine jumped to 914 from 870 with 109 active cases in Albany County. Of the 14,719 people who have completed quarantine, 3,146 have tested positive and recovered.
There are seven residents hospitalized for a rate of .21 percent. The county’s death toll remains at 136.
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the Albany County Health Department said flu season is now here and encouraged everyone to get a flu shot.
“What we are concerned about, is flu season comes every year and we encourage people every year to get the flu shot because not only can it prevent you from getting the flu it will lessen the effects of flu,” she said. “What we want to avoid this year is year is having a lot of people with the flu this year in addition to people with COVID.”
As of Thursday, the eight-county Capital District had an infection rate of 1.7 percent, or the percent of people who were tested and had the virus. The North Country was the lowest in the state with an infection rate of .5 percent while Central New York had an infection rate of 2.3 percent.
According to the state COVID-19 dashboard, Albany County had an infection rate of 2.1 percent, Schenectady County had a rate of 1.5 percent, Saratoga County is at 1 percent, Rensselaer County 1.3 percent, Columbia County 1.8 percent, Greene County 2 percent, Washington County, 1.1 percent and Warren County 1.3 percent.