ALBANY — Five county residents died of COVID-19 from Wednesday to Thursday, there were 137 new cases and there are 90 residents hospitalized.
“And we have not seen the uptick from Thanksgiving yet,” said County Executive Dan McCoy. “The next couple weeks will be very alarming. We have not seen the numbers like this over the last nine months (when the pandemic began to take hold in ‘March.)”
The death toll now stands at 166. Of the most recent deaths, four were residents of a group setting or a nursing home — a man in his 70s, a man and women in their 80s and a woman in her 90s. A 50 year old man was not a resident of a nursing home.
As of Thursday, there were 6,160 confirmed cases in Albany County with 910 still active. The number of people under mandatory quarantine rose to 2,239 from 2,181. Of the 24,509 people have completed quarantine, 5,250 of them had tested positive and recovered.
The number of county residents hospitalized has doubled in the past week, McCoy said. While there were 15 new admissions overnight, nine were discharged. Of those hospitalized, one is younger than 25, 15 are between 25 and 49 and 37 are between 50 and 74.
The eight-county Capital District region is still flirting with the microcluster zone designation. In Albany County, Thursday marks the third day in a row with a positivity rate of more than 4 percent and the sixth day in a row with a positivity rate of more than 3 percent. There is an approximately two-day lag between the most recent numbers and the calculations used by the state to determine a microcluster zone.
A yellow zone designation would require a seven-day average positivity rate of 3 percent or greater while an orange would require 4 percent or greater and red zone would require 5 percent or greater. The state has changed the metrics to include hospital capacity, staff availability and death among the factors used to determine a microcluster, which could be a region, a municipality, a zip code, a census tract or a neighborhood.
“While this is the worst the pandemic has ever been, shockingly, the CDC is predicting that it will only get worse over the next few months before the vaccine is widely distributed,” McCoy said.
The county could see a shipment of vaccine as early as Dec. 10 and it will be distributed to health care workers and nursing home residents first. It will likely not be available to the general public until late spring or early summer.