Albany County confirms two new deaths linked to COIVD-19

The Record-5 months before

Two women in their 80s passed away, both residents of St. Peter’s Nursing & Rehabilitation Center with multiple underlying health conditions. The death toll for the county stands at 128 since the county began tracking them back in March.

"One passed away on July 28 and the other one passed away on July 31, we were just notified of that [Monday]," McCoy said. 

Those cases include two healthcare workers or those who live in congregate settings, two with close contacts to positive cases, one who had reported traveling out of state, and one who did not have a clear source of...transmission.

In total there have now been 2,310 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County as of Tuesday. Plus, the number of people under mandatory quarantine has decreased to 575. The five-day average for new daily positive cases has dropped to 8.2. The county has 31 active cases.

Thus far, 7,557 people have completed quarantine. Of those who completed quarantine, 2,279 of them have tested positive and recovered, an increase of eight.

Presently, two people are hospitalized, raising the hospitalization rate to 0.08%. Plus, there is now one patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Albany County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen joined the briefing to discuss the data being monitoring on the County COVID-19 Dashboard Tracker. The highest age group continues to be the 20 to 29 group, which has 480 positive cases.

"Overwhelmingly, we have had positive responses from whether it's a business or a daycare or the schools that we have interacted with," Whalen remarked.

"People are very interested in working with us and doing the right thing to make sure people are tested. People in the public are coming forward to get their tests when they are recommended and this is a good thing," Whalen explained.

Yet, Whalen once again emphasized the need for the 20 to 29 age group to help them in their tracking of cases.

"We really need to continue to target that 20 to 29 age group. That was the investigation where we would call people and they would say 'yeah, I knew people at the party but I'm not telling you who was there,"' Whalen said.

"We simply don't get those responses when we call about schools or we call about businesses," Whalen said. "So, again for that age group, please remember that your contacts are important for us to be aware of.

"Nobody's getting in trouble here but we want to make sure that we can control this and in controlling it protect your loved ones including those you may know that are elderly or vulnerable."

"Again to reinforce, just because you're young and healthy doesn't mean you cannot have a severe case of COVID-19, so please ensure that you're doing what you can to protect your health," Whalen added.

Also at the press conference, McCoy and Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce, touched on the importance of youth programs in the community to help stem violence.

“Albany County continues to fight a battle with two fronts: The ongoing COVID crisis and the spike in shootings in Albany, both of which have tragically taken too many lives and done untold harm to the community. I’m proud to take another step forward in addressing that gun violence by investing in these summer youth programs for at-risk youth,” McCoy said.

“Law enforcement alone cannot address this issue. We need to invest in rewarding opportunities for our young people to learn and grow in safe environments, and we can do that through sports, physical fitness, the arts, mentorship, career development and more," McCoy noted. 

"In the Albany County Legislature, we spell out our priorities in our budgeting," Joyce remarked.

"We had the foresight in 2019 to move funding to our Department for Children, Youth and Families because we know how important youth programming is in our communities. We're very fortunate to be able to provide these resources to the amazing people who can implement them in a productive and safe manner," Joyce added. 

The two mentioned that Albany County has contracted with five local organizations to provide rewarding experiences for this summer.

Two of those, Jamil Hood’s House of Hoops and Just Be Ready, focus on basketball skills and drills, as well as mentorship components for at-risk youth.

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