Albany County COVID briefing, December 7

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy held a COVID briefing with Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman to recommend indoor mask-wearing. You can take a look at the briefing above.

“Mask wearing around the Capital Region has been limited, and any new mandate would require a regional approach for it to be truly effective. That’s why I’m partnering with Schenectady County to issue an official public health advisory strongly recommending all residents—regardless of vaccination status—wear masks at indoor public spaces, including private businesses,” McCoy said. “We’re also encouraging those same businesses to put up signage and require employees and customers to wear masks.”

There have been 35,451 COVID cases among Albany County residents to date, with 157 new positive cases and 111 new recoveries identified since Monday. Unfortunately, McCoy also reported one new COVID death, a man in his 40s. The county death toll is 454.

“It has now been four consecutive days that I’ve reported at least one new COVID death in Albany County, with a total of nine deaths in December so far. While we’re seeing fewer hospitalizations and deaths in these last two weeks following Thanksgiving compared to the same time last year, new infections have far exceeded last year’s numbers and we still don’t know what kind of impact there will be on our hospitals. We can’t put our heads in the sand,” McCoy said. “We need to do more.”

As of Monday, 76% of Albany County received at least a first vaccine dose, and 68.4% are considered fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for the county’s 18-and-over population is 85.2%. The county’s five-day average of new daily positive is 183.8, and its most recent seven-day average positivity rate is 6.5%. Meanwhile, the Capital Region’s average positivity rate is 7.4%.

There are 772 current active cases in the county, with 1,193 under mandatory quarantine. Ten new patients were admitted to hospitals since Monday, for a total of 52 county residents currently hospitalized. Eleven of them are in the ICU.

“The situation in Albany County is very similar to what’s happening in Schenectady County. While our hospital system is not yet overrun, the majority of those who have been admitted because of COVID-19 are those who chose not to get vaccinated,” Fluman said. “Vaccines and boosters save lives, but masking is also critical, especially from a regional perspective. I’m proud to join County Executive McCoy by issuing this joint public health advisory to urge more people to utilize this added layer of protection.”

McCoy said that, of the 52 hospitalized Albany County residents, 69% are unvaccinated, 2% are partially vaccinated, and 29% are fully vaccinated. He said that the average of weekly vaccine rates among hospitalized individuals dating back to August 14 totals 61.3% unvaccinated, 2.4% partially vaccinated, and 36.3% fully vaccinated.

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