ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy held a press briefing on COVID-19 Monday morning. He was joined by Peter Gannon, CEO of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region.
McCoy began by acknowledging Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and pointed to the power of younger generations, saying, “you can make a difference.” He said that King has inspired him since his childhood.
McCoy also commented on updated guidance from the state that came in on Friday regarding vaccine rollout. Local health departments will prioritize essential workers for vaccinations. Pharmacies will vaccinate people 65 and older. Hospitals will vaccinate healthcare workers.
McCoy acknowledged that people are signing up for a vaccine outside of their region, making it difficult for people to get an appointment close to home, or at all. He suggested an idea to set regional boundaries for the state’s vaccine sites.
McCoy announced an 172 new positive cases and three more deaths among county residents—a man in his 60s, a man in his 80s, and a woman in her 90s—for a current county death toll of 275. There have been 15,897 confirmed cases of COVID to date in the county, and the five-day average for new daily positives is 242.8.
There are 1,902 current cases in the county. Among new positives, 11 live or work in a health care setting, 38 had close contact with other positives, and 123 did not have a clear source of infection.
There are 2,990 people under mandatory quarantine. Of the 47,420 to have completed quarantine so far, 13,995 tested positive and recovered. Since Sunday, 312 individuals were cleared for recovery.
There were 22 new hospitalizations overnight, and 180 people are in hospital beds. Of those, 16 are in the ICU. This is the highest COVID-19 hospitalization number Albany County has seen since early January.
Gannon provided an update on United Way’s partnership with Albany County to provide people with assistance via a 211 number, should they have questions about eligibility or signing up for a vaccine. He said while their operators don’t have a magic answer to the issue of reservations filling up so quickly, he was pleased to note that there seems to be enhanced interest and confidence from the public in receiving the vaccine.
McCoy this is not true for Black and Brown communities, who have been refusing the vaccine at higher rates than other populations. He emphasized the need for efforts to establish trust in those communities.
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