ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — During a COVID-19 briefing, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said there were 1,003 new positive COVID cases since Thursday. You can watch the update in the player above.

McCoy was joined by St. Peter’s Health Partners Chief Medical Director of Acute Care Dr. Thea Dalfino and Albany County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen.

“With 1,003 new COVID infections identified in the county since yesterday, it’s clear we’ve entered an alarming new phase of the pandemic. The last record for daily infections was 471 which we reported just two days ago, and these concerning numbers don’t reflect at-home tests for the most part and are likely much higher. It’s still unclear what kind of impact this unprecedented infection rate will have on our hospitals, but as Dr. Dalfino said, infections among hospital staff is creating a strain on an industry that is already short staffed,” said McCoy.

As of Friday, the county’s seven-day average of new daily positive cases is 404.8. There are 15 new hospitalizations and 66 county residents are currently hospitalized with the virus. Seven patients are in ICU’s.

As of Thursday, 78.9% of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 71.6% have been fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for the county’s 18 and up population is 87.9%.

“I realize many people will be celebrating New Year’s tonight, and if you are, we are encouraging everyone to do so safely in smaller groups, ideally with vaccinated individuals. We are likely to see an even larger spike in COVID infections after the holiday, and we want to keep that under control to the extent possible. Moving forward, I hope people continue to wear masks, get vaccinated, get the booster and get tested as much as possible,” said McCoy.

McCoy encourages residents to submit the 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.