ALBANY — Because of a spike in COVID-19 cases, the county Department of Health is “strongly recommending” everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in all indoor public spaces, including private businesses.
The directive falls short of a mandate and there is no indication such an edict will be issued. Philadelphia was the first major city to to reinstate a mask mandate but rescinded the order just days later. Also, last week, St. Peter’s Health Partners again limited the number of visitors at its locations in the Capital District including Samaritan Rehabilitation and Samaritan Memorial and St. Peters hospitals.
Six Albany County residents have died from the virus in just over a week, according to County Executive Dan McCoy.
The spike in Albany County mirrors other places across the country and the world.
As of Sunday, April 24, there were 65,758 confirmed cases in the county since the pandemic took hold in March 2020, an increase of 1,018 from seven days prior.
Albany County’s most recent seven-day average of COVID cases per 100,000 is now up to 33.1 (with an average percent positive rate of 10.6 percent), and the Capital Region’s average of cases per 100,000 is now up to 31.8 (with an average percent positive rate of 9.4 percent) said McCoy in a statement. The county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases is now up to 134 from 119.1.
Statewide, on Monday, April 25, 5,931 people tested positive for COVID 19. The seven day average of cases per 100,000 is 32.2, a level not seen since February.
The death toll in Albany County stands at 547 since March 2020. The most recent fatalities include a man in his 50s, a woman in her 60s, a man and woman in their 70s, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 90s.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones to COVID complications,” McCoy said. “This virus continues to spread at a rapid rate, though the number of individuals in our hospitals is remaining relatively low and stable for now. I’m happy to see the percentage of people getting their booster shots growing quickly, which was down at 64.3 percent just three weeks ago.”
As of Friday, April 22, there were 24 county residents hospitalized with one in the ICU.
More than 81 percent of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine and nearly 75 percent are fully vaccinated. Statewide more than 90 percent of all residents have received at least the first dose and 77 percent are fully vaccinated.
Among the eligible population, 69.2 percent have now received at least one booster shot in Albany County.
Albany County Residents can receive free Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines (including booster shots) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Albany County Department of Health located at 175 Green St. in Albany.
Homebound residents, which includes seniors, disabled individuals, those lacking childcare and those with other accessibility issues can get a vaccination delivered by calling (518) 447-7198.