Albany County coronavirus update, December 16

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — County Executive Dan P. McCoy provided an update on Albany County’s COVID-19 response on Wednesday. He said there have been 8,315 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the county to date, with a record-tying 205 new positive cases since Tuesday.

There are 1,549 active cases in the county, and the five-day average for new daily positives is 181.6. Among the new positives, 14 live or work in a health care setting, 25 had close contact with positive cases, and 166 did not share a source of infection.

There are 3,279 under mandatory quarantine. Of the 29,144 to have completed quarantine so far, 6,766 tested positive and recovered.

Fifteen new hospitalizations reported overnight, bringing the total of hospitalized county residents to 96. Of those, 15 are in the ICU. With no new COVID deaths overnight, the death toll for the county remains 183. Wednesday broke a days-long streak of new daily deaths.

McCoy was joined by Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, to discuss the 15% third-party food delivery fee cap to support for struggling local restaurants and bars.

“Restaurants and bars were already operating on razor thin profit margins before the outbreak of COVID-19. With indoor dining limited to 50% and winter weather preventing outdoor dining, we need to make delivery fees affordable and fair for them and the customer that may not feel safe sitting down for a meal. That’s why our emergency order during this COVID-19 pandemic for a 15% cap for third-party companies is so important,” McCoy said. “We recognize that some of our local businesses rely on these companies for marketing, but it shouldn’t be a one-sided relationship, especially when some rely on delivery for more than half of their income.”

Fleischut added that, “With limited indoor dining capacity, restaurants across the region have been relying on takeout and delivery more than ever. The delivery and marketing fees some third-party delivery companies charge can dramatically cut into the profit margin of every order, sometimes taking as much as 30% away from the local restaurant. Capping these fees will allow owners to keep more money in the restaurant, giving them a better chance of making it through this difficult time.”

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