ALBANY & SARATOGA COUNTIES — Handfuls of new COVID cases continue to be reported daily in the core counties of the Capital Region, and there were more warnings on Saturday about possible COVID exposures.
On Saturday, Albany County reported another death, its 136th since the start of the pandemic: she was a woman in her 70s who had underlying health conditions. Also, DePaula Chevrolet on Central Avenue in Albany announced it will be shut down through Oct. 20 for deep cleaning, after a cluster of COVID cases there.
The Albany County Health Department, which reported being flooded with calls about the dealership, said people who visited DePaula since Sept. 20 don’t need to quarantine, unless they have been contacted directly by the Health Department. Officials added that anyone who is experiencing any symptoms should either get tested or be evaluated by a medical professional.
Saratoga County Public Health Services, meanwhile, reported new possible low-risk exposures at Scotty’s Restaurant in Wilton and at 30 Lake in Saratoga Springs. In both cases, the employees who have now tested positive were wearing face masks while working, reducing the risk of spread.
Scotty’s, at the Northway Exit 16 truck stop, had an employee test positive after working 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2, and 4, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 5 and 6.
At 30 Lake, the employee who tested positive worked from noon to 10 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5, county health officials said.
The Saratoga County announcements on Saturday were the latest in a series of cases in the county in which the public has been potentially exposed through food service workers.
Overall, however, the Capital Region has not seen the spikes in positive cases being seen in some New York City neighborhoods and the city’s northern suburbs, which has pushed the statewide positive rate up, and increased the number of hospitalizations statewide to more than 800. The Capital Region and Mohawk Valley both have positive-test rates well below one percent, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office. Albany County had 12 new cases reported Saturday, Saratoga County six, and Schenectady County, two.
“We’ve seen a similar story before, where clusters of high infection rates in New York City and downstate are followed by spikes upstate,” Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said on Friday. “We don’t need to sound the alarms yet, but we need to take this moment as a warning sign and look at our own data in Albany County: Nearly 150 new positive cases in just one week, the number of residents in the hospital more than doubled over three days and the number of patients in the ICU is ticking up.”