Overnight spike in COVID cases draws concern of second wave

Local

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Friday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced there were 53 new COVID-19 cases overnight in the county.

“We’ve had 110 cases in just the last four days,” McCoy said.

McCoy was joined by Albany County Health Department Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen.

“We are concerned that we are seeing in the last few weeks an uptick in numbers that could, in fact, be what we have been concerned about all along, the beginning of a second wave,” Whalen said.

Dr. Eli Rosenberg at the University of Albany said there’s enough testing to turn the numbers around.

“Fortunately, we’re in that position now where we’re seeing what’s going on, and we’re able to quickly respond with contact tracing efforts, and get the word out to the community that, ‘Hey, things are on the rise. We need to turn this around,'” Rosenberg said.

In preparation for a second wave, Rosenberg says the medical community has more tools at their disposal.

“Obviously there’s no cure that’s 100 percent effective, but we’re seeing multiple drugs that, at least, we’re seeing partial help here,” Rosenberg said.

Dr. Steven Hanks at St. Peter’s Health Partners agrees with Rosenberg.

Hospitalizations have skyrocketed in Albany County. They’re the at the highest numbers since June.

At St. Peter’s, hospitalizations have risen 500 percent in the past month, but deaths from the virus have remained low.

“This is something that’s being seen globally that the mortality rate in all age groups seems to be lower now than it was at the beginning of the pandemic,” Hanks said.

Though deaths from the virus aren’t spiking, Hanks adds that should not be a reason for people to drop their defenses.

“It’s not just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting others. Now’s not the time to become complacent,” Hanks said.


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