Albany County announces new COVID policy with students in November 23 COVID update

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Albany County

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today provided the latest update on the county’s progress on vaccinations and controlling the spread of the Coronavirus. 

As of Monday, November 22, 74.9% of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 67.4% have been fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for the county’s 18+ population is now up to 84.6%. More information on vaccination rates around the state can be found at the New York State COVID Vaccine Tracker.

County Executive McCoy announced that the total number of confirmed cases of COVID in Albany County is now at 33,472 to date, with 89 new positive cases identified since Monday, November 22. The county’s five-day average of new daily positive cases is now down to 106.8.

Please note that the overall case count will fluctuate as CommCare records are transferred in and out of the county. Albany County’s most recent seven-day average of percent positive rate is now down to 5.0% and the Capital Region’s average rate remained at 6.8%.

There are now 604 active cases in the county, down from 629 Monday, November 22. The number of people under mandatory quarantine decreased to 1,069 from 1,192. So far 104,311 people have completed quarantine to date. Of those who completed quarantine, 32,868 of them had tested positive and recovered – an increase of 105 additional recoveries.

County Executive McCoy reported that there were four new hospitalizations since Monday, November 22, and there is still a total of 38 county residents currently hospitalized with the Coronavirus. Four of those hospital patients are in ICU’s, down from six Monday, November 22. There are no new COVID deaths to report, and the death toll for Albany County still stands at 439 since the outbreak began.

“In following guidance from the CDC, my office and our County Department of Health have established a new pilot quarantine policy in a partnership with our schools. Starting immediately and subject to the school’s participation, students found to be close contacts to COVID infections but are not showing any signs or symptoms of a potential infection can test out of quarantine after seven days, instead of the current ten-day requirement,” said County Executive McCoy.

“Quarantine is an important tool in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus, but unnecessarily drawn out quarantines are a burden to students, parents and guardians, schools, businesses and entire communities. Shortening the timeline for quarantine of close contacts through testing will strike an important balance between the safety of our students, and keeping them in the classroom where they belong,” he continued.

In order for the quarantine to end, a COVID test must be conducted no sooner than the fifth day of quarantine and within 48 hours of the planned end of quarantine. Quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after the seventh day. Day five of quarantine is defined as the fifth day after an individual’s last documented close contact exposure to an individual infectious with COVID.

Additionally, for the quarantine to end after seven days, the individual cannot have developed any COVID symptoms since their last exposure, including but not limited to fever of chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion of runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

It’s important to note that this new policy does not apply to students who has already tested positive for COVID. A negative COVID viral test result from a diagnostic specimen is required. Viral tests include both antigen tests and nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), which include but are not limited to PCR tests. These tests can be administered in pharmacies, healthcare provider offices, and schools. In schools that have contracted with the Albany County DOH for Quadrant testing, this test can be utilized. Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests are also acceptable when administered by the school. At-home tests are not eligible for this protocol.

Upcoming School-Based Vaccination Clinics 

(please note that all vaccinations are by appointment only. Scheduling for pediatric shots for the 5-11 population will be handled by individual schools directly with parents of students from those specific schools. Pfizer 12+ 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and booster shots, as well as Moderna 18+ 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and booster shots will be available by appointment as well):

  • Tuesday, November 23, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
    • Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School
    • 100 Elbel Ct, Albany, NY
    • Register for appointments at the link here.
  • Tuesday, November 30, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • Albany International Airport (exact location TBD)
    • Albany Shaker Rd, Colonie, NY
  • Thursday, December 2, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
    • Menands Union Free School
    • 19 Wards Lane, Menands, NY
  • Wednesday, December 8, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
    • Blue Creek Elementary School
    • 100 Clinton St., Latham, NY
  • Monday, December 13, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
    • Guilderland Elementary School
    • 2225 Western Ave, Guilderland, NY
  • Tuesday, December 14, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
    • Stephen & Harriet Myers Middle School
    • 100 Elbel Court, Albany, NY
  • Thursday, December 16, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
    • Sand Creek Middle School
    • 329 Sand Creek Road, Albany, NY

Residents can also receive free Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines (including booster shots) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., each week at the Albany County Department of Health, 175 Green Street. Aside from Wednesdays, appointments are now required, which can be made at the Albany County website.  Anyone eligible to receive a COVID vaccine booster dose and would like to receive one from the Albany County Department of Health will be required to provide their vaccination card or the Excelsior Pass Plus in order to view the formula type, lot number and date of the inoculation.

Albany County continues to deliver vaccines to homebound residents, which includes seniors, disabled individuals, those lacking childcare and those with other accessibility issues. Anyone who would like to schedule a time for a vaccine appointment should call (518) 447-7198.

Residents who want a shot from a state-run facility should use the state’s website or call the state vaccine hotline at 1-833-697-4829. For general information on the vaccine, residents can also dial the United Way of the Greater Capital Region’s 2-1-1 hotline or the Albany County Department of Health at (518) 447-4580.

COVID testing continues to be available throughout Albany County and the Capital Region. Help finding a testing site near you can be found at the New York State website and the Albany County website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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