ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County has reported two COVID-19 deaths in its daily update. County Executive Dan McCoy said the deaths were a man in his 60s and a woman in her 90s. The death toll for the county stands at 549 since the pandemic began.

“Our infection rate continues to rise at an alarming rate, and we are likely not detecting the full level of community spread as many at-home COVID tests go unreported. Albany County’s average percent positive rate has jumped from 3.3% to 13.5% over the last month. Sadly, as the virus spreads more and more, hospitalizations rise and we see more deaths, and my condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones over the last few days,” said McCoy.

Albany County has reported 133 new COVID cases since Monday, and 589 new cases overall since Friday. The county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases is now 157.

McCoy said there have been four new hospitalizations since Monday and 20 new hospitalizations overall since Friday. There are 31 residents currently hospitalized with COVID. Three are in ICUs.

“The best way to protect ourselves and those around us is by getting vaccinated, getting booster shots, getting tested, and wearing masks while indoors as we continue to grapple with this latest surge of infections,” said McCoy.

On Monday, the Albany County Department of Health issued a public health advisory, strongly recommending all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public spaces. The department also encourages residents to complete their primary COVID vaccination series, get boosted when eligible, and get tested when not feeling well.

As of Monday, 81.7% of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 74.2% are fully vaccinated. Among the eligible population, 70% have received the booster shot.

The county encourages residents to submit their positive results of at-home COVID testing on the Albany County website. Residents can receive free Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and 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 required and can be made on the Albany County website.