ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Amid a dropping countywide average for positive COVID cases, County Executive Daniel P. McCoy still had some sad news to report Friday- two more Albany County residents have passed away from the virus. Their unfortunate passing raised the death toll countywide to 565 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Overall trends in the county, however, are on a downward slope. 76 new infections were identified since Thursday, and 230 since the last update on Tuesday, which dropped the county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases to 80 from 97.4.

Looking at it on a broader scale, Albany County’s most recent seven-day average of COVID cases per 100,000 has dropped to 23.5 with an average positivity rate of just under 8%. In the Capital Region, that number is not much higher- sitting at 24 cases per 100,000 as of Friday.

Since Thursday, five new Albany County residents have been hospitalized with the virus. Since Tuesday’s update, eleven patients have been admitted- making the total number 33 overall. Of those hospital patients, there are three in the intensive care unit, down from the four last reported.

“While this virus is clearly still a threat – especially for those with weakened immune systems and underlying health conditions – our metrics continue to move in the right direction. Average cases per 100,000 are still on a downward slope, now the lowest I’ve reported since April 13, and hospitalizations are also declining. Additionally, the wastewater monitoring system at our North and South Wastewater Treatment Plants in Albany are showing decreasing levels of the Coronavirus, which means we will continue to see decreasing levels of infections in the coming weeks, as this is a leading indicator,” said County Executive McCoy.

If you take an at-home COVID test and it comes up positive, in order to keep countywide numbers accurate, County Executive McCoy encourages you to use the county’s online submission link and report it. If you prefer to get tested in person, testing sites are still available throughout both Albany County and the Capital Region.

As of Thursday, 81.5% of Albany County residents have gotten their first COVID shot. Just under 75% have completed their entire vaccination series, and of the eligible population, nearly 64% have gotten the booster.

If you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, the county is still offering it for free at the Albany County Department of Health, located at 175 Green Street, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you go any day but Wednesday, you’ll need an appointment- so make sure you get one ahead of time online.