ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy was joined by former NFL player Dion Lewis during a COVID-19 update. Lewis has been named the County’s Community Health and Wellness Development Coordinator to assist in building trust with residents and connecting them with services.

“We have a great opportunity because Dion is a role model, especially with young men, and one of the lessons we learned over the last 22 months dealing with COVID is that some people can be skeptical of government,” said McCoy. “Dion’s a credible messenger and will be able to help us break through those barriers.”

“I wanted to come back and share my passion to give back to my community- to a city that has helped mold me into the man I am today,” said Lewis. “A lot has changed here since I was younger, and not all of it is good. I want to do everything I can to make a difference and to reach those people who need their faith restored. It’ll be my job to provide motivation and let the community know about all the resources the county has that they may be able to benefit from.”  

During the COVID update, McCoy announced another COVID death  – a man in his 60’s. The death toll for Albany County now stands at 440 since the pandemic began.

“It is another sad day when I report the loss of yet another Albany County resident to COVID-19 and send condolences to their families. It’s important that we remember what the situation looked like this time last year, ahead of the holiday season, because we know that it was around this time that we saw an alarming spike in infections and soon after, hospitalizations and deaths,” said McCoy.

The county has reported 115 new positive COVID cases and 103 recoveries since Tuesday. The county’s five-day average of new daily positive cases is 104.2. There were eight new hospitalizations in the county and 41 residents are now hospitalized with COVID. Four patients are in ICU’s.

As of Tuesday, 75% of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 67.5% have been fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for the county’s 18 and up population is 84.6%.

Upcoming school-based vaccination clinics

  • November 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at Albany International Airport (exact location TBD).
  • December 2 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Menands Union Free School
  • December 8 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Blue Creek Elementary School in Latham
  • December 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Guilderland Elementary School
  • December 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Stephen & Harriet Myers Middle School in Albany
  • December 16 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Sand Creek Middle School in Albany

All vaccinations are by appointment only. Scheduling for pediatric shots for the 5-11 population will be handled by individual schools directly with parents. 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.

Residents can also receive free Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines 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 and can be made on the Albany County website.