ALBANY — County Executive Dan McCoy said he would create an online portal to allow residents to make complaints about those who do not wear masks or violate vaccination regulations.
The move, not formally announced but is in the works, said his office, came on the heels of Gov. Kathy Hochul mandating all public indoor places either require masks at all time for everyone or require vaccination at all times for everyone. Before the governor put the more stringent measures into effect, businesses had the option of allowing customers to go without a mask if vaccinated and only require a mask for those who are vaccainted.
The portal, once it is up and running, will be available on the county website.
“Residents will be able to submit any observations or issues that they see in the community when it comes to mask of vaccination requirements,” said Mary Rozak, a spokeswoman for McCoy. “To the extent possible, given limited resources, any potential issues that are reported will be looked into to determine what next steps are necessary in terms of working with businesses to educate them on the new policy or enforcement.”
Meanwhile, the Omicron variant is spreading COVID-19 like wildfire and is causing mask mandates like in New York state, professional, college and high school athletic events to get cancelled postponed and a heightened concern among the population not only about the virus but the vaccine as well. The latest strain is seen as spreading more rapidly than its predecessor, Delta variant, but the impacts are not as severe and particularly less severe for those who are vaccinated.
On Monday, Dec. 20, McCoy said 78.3 percent of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose while 71.2 percent are fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for those in Albany County 18 and older is 87.5 percent.
The number of confirmed cases in Albany County is 37,670 to date, with 154 new cases from Sunday to Monday.
As of Monday, the county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases was up to 200.
There were seven new hospitalizaitons from Sunday to Monday bringing the total to 61. Six are in the ICU, down from eight on Sunday.
Three more Albany County residents died from Sunday to Monday — A man and a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s — bringing the total death toll to 464 since the pandemic took hold in March, 2020.
“These deaths show us that COVID is still a threat and we’re not out of the woods yet,” McCoy said. “We need to take the proper precautions to protect ourselves and those around us. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t, get the booster shot if you have, wear masks indoors, and stay home and get tested for COVID if you’re feeling sick.”
The Capital District seven-day positivity rate is at 6.9 percent, the same as Albany County. The highest in the eight-county region is 9.4 percent in Washington County and the lowest is 6 percent in Rensselaer County. As of Monday, the statewide seven-day positivity rate is 6.9 percent.