CAPITAL REGION — Schenectady County Public Health on Saturday issued its second notice about a possible restaurant-related COVID-19 exposure in less than a day, as Capital Region counties continue to see an increase since summer in their daily COVID counts.
The alert on Saturday was that a customer who visited the Shaker & Vine restaurant at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, has been diagnosed with COVID.
“Although (Public Health) believes there is a low risk of exposure, members of the public who sat inside the restaurant during that time should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID for 14 days from that date and consider getting tested,” county officials said.
The reported exposure came after the county announced on Friday that an employee at the Wendy’s restaurant at 3421 State St. in Niskayuna has COVID, and customers who went inside the restaurant or used the drive-thru between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 19-23 and Oct. 26 should monitor themselves for symptoms and consider getting tested.
On Saturday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced new rules for inter-state travel. Instead of travelers from states with higher virus rates than New York being required to quarantine for 14 days, they must quarantine for three days and get tested for COVID. If they are COVID-free, their quarantine ends.
The 14-day rule had most recently applied to people coming from 43 states, but the list of states has changed frequently. Contiguous states are exempt under both the old and new policies because of the amount of travel between them and difficulty of enforcement on people who travel by car.
Under the new rules, travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state. Then, upon arrival in New York, they must quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, the traveler must seek another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler is done with quarantine.
For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours, there is no quarantine requirement, but the traveler must fill out a traveler information form upon return, and take a COVID diagnostic test four days after returning.
New COVID cases in local counties continue to be reported on a daily basis. Cuomo’s office said Saturday that nine new cases were reported in Schenectady County on Friday. Saratoga County, which has seen seen an uptick in new cases in the last week, had 22 new cases on Friday.
Albany County, where officials expressed alarm after 53 new cases were confirmed on Thursday and hospitalizations went up, reported the number of new cases dropped to 23 on Friday. County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced that the county also had two more deaths: a woman in her 60s and a man in his 80s, both with underlying health conditions.
“We need to be vigilant and follow the guidance to stop the spread,” McCoy said. “That means wearing a mask properly, covering your nose and mouth, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, frequent hand sanitizing, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.”
During November, Schenectady County will be offering no-cost testing at the Boys and Girls Club Adeline Wright Graham Clubhouse, 104 Education Dr., Schenectady, on Monday mornings, and in the West Parking Lot at SUNY Schenectady from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but not required. People may register by calling 518-419-0370.
The United States set a series of new records for new COVID-19 diagnoses this week, including a new record of 99,750 on Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control website. There were 1,009 deaths nationwide on Friday, bringing the total death count since the pandemic started to 229,000.