ALBANY — For the second day in a row, 300 or more county residents tested positive for COVID-19.
There were 300 new cases from Friday to Saturday and a record-setting 346 new cases from Thursday to Friday. The former daily high was on Dec. 24 with 269 new cases.
As of Saturday, there have been a total of 12,078 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic took hold in March. Of the 38,625 who completed quarantine, 10,320 have tested positive and recovered, an increase of 266 from Friday to Saturday.
There were three deaths from Thursday to Friday — a woman in her 70s, a woman in her 60s and a man in his 60s — and another from Friday to Saturday — a woman in her 70s — bringing the total death toll to 227 since March.
There were also 30 hospitalizations overnight bringing the total number of county residents currently hospitalized to 133, said County Executive Dan McCoy during a press briefing. There are 22 patients in the ICU, up one from Friday.
“We’ve been saying January will be the hardest and most challenging of the last nine months,” McCoy said. “What people did through December and January will define us for the next few weeks.”
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the county Health Department, said the last time numbers spiked in the spring there was a massive shutdown initiated by the state and outside the county’s control.
“What can we do now? ‘Stay home.’” She said. “Avoid socialization with groups outside your immediate family. That is how we can flatten the curve without shutting down before the vaccine is distributed. Every time you go out the door, ask yourself if you need to go out the door.”
McCoy said he will be on a conference call with the superintendents of school districts across the county on Sunday to determine if they will re-open for in person learning on Monday, Jan. 4 or if they will revert back to online learning.