Capital Region

Regional COVID picture has stabilized

Drive-thru and walk-up community testing at Yates Elementary in Schenectady in May.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Drive-thru and walk-up community testing at Yates Elementary in Schenectady in May.

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

Some local counties haven’t experienced a new COVID-19 death in weeks, and new diagnoses are down, apart from outbreaks associated with college campuses. State death tolls are down into single-digits most days, with only one death statewide on Sunday, and three on Monday.

Schenectady County had no new cases diagnosed on Monday, for only the sixth time since the pandemic reached the Capital Region in March. The county has had 1,338 total cases since then, and 48 deaths. Over time, the frequency of COVID deaths in the county has declined; the last death was two weeks ago, on Sept. 7.

County spokeswoman Erin Roberts said it appears people with COVID symptoms are coming forward sooner, so they can start treatment before the case progresses to the point that they require hospitalization.

Saratoga County, meanwhile, hasn’t had a confirmed COVID death since June 6. It has had 17 deaths to date, and it is the only major county in the region which has had no deaths in nursing home. In an update last Friday, county officials reported that they were seeing more cases among young people, and more cases in rural areas.

With many public health officials fearing a second wave of COVID cases in the fall, Saratoga County acting Public Health Director Cathy Medick said in a Facebook presentation on Monday said one of the best things people can do is get a flu shot to reduce their risk of seasonal flu, since at initial presentation, flu and COVID symptoms look very similar.

Albany County led the region with 16 new cases diagnosed on Monday, with County Executive Daniel P. McCay saying 11 of those cases are associated with the University at Albany. None of those cases have required hospitalization, he said.

Moving to protect the state from a new surge, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday added five new states — including the first New England state, Rhode Island — to the list of states from which travelers are required to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Also added to the list were Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada and Wyoming. The list now includes 33 states, plus the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam.

There were 754 new cases diagnosed in the state on Monday, Cuomo said, with new cases in 43 counties. There were three deaths, two in New York City and one in Erie County.

“For a clear example of the continuing extent of the COVID crisis in America, look no further than New York’s travel advisory list,” Cuomo said in releasing the latest figures. “The virus’ spread across the country — new cases have increased more than 15 percent in the last 10 days — makes it all the more urgent that we stay vigilant here at home. That’s why New Yorkers need to continue wearing masks, socially distancing and washing their hands in conjunction with the careful enforcement of local governments. We can defeat this virus by staying New York Tough, but we have a long way to go.”

Capital Region COVID-19 cases and deaths

County Total Cases Total Deaths Total Nursing Home Deaths
Albany 3,037 123 64
Fulton 332 28 13
Montgomery 229 9 4
Rensselaer 901 42 16
Saratoga 1,006 17 0
Schenectady 1,383 48 2
Schoharie 83 2 0

SOURCE: New York State Department of Health; county health departments

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