ALBANY — The Albany County Department of Health has shifted to remote operation after a COVID-19 cluster was confirmed within its own ranks.
The department has been the busiest in the Capital Region throughout the last eight months, as Albany County tallied the most COVID infections and most deaths in the area.
Since March 11, 3,526 residents of the region’s most populous county have been confirmed infected and 15,954 have been quarantined as a precaution. One hundred and forty Albany County residents have died of COVID.
The cluster at the Albany County Department of Health — four employees — was announced Thursday afternoon. All other employees are being tested and have begun working remotely.
The department will be able to perform all services, said county Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen. The department has decided to cancel clinics temporarily but will remain reachable by telephone in emergencies.
“Four of our employees have tested positive and while the rest of the department is being tested, we are following the same protocol that we would expect of any other business and that means a two-week PAUSE at the ACDOH building,” County Executive Daniel McCoy said in a news release.
“This is an example of our employees doing the right thing — wearing a mask, social distancing, frequently sanitizing their hands and still contracting the virus. I have said it hasn’t gone away and it can impact anyone. I’d like to thank Albany Medical Center for assisting with our testing.”
McCoy and Whalen plan to provide additional details at a Friday-morning news conference.