Capital Region

COVID cases continue to climb as Capital Region test positivity rate nears 3 percent

Niskayuna High School shifted to all-virtual learning Tuesday after the district was notified of two new cases at the school on Monday.
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Niskayuna High School shifted to all-virtual learning Tuesday after the district was notified of two new cases at the school on Monday.

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

New COVID-19 cases continued to rise across the state Tuesday, with the Capital Region on Monday registering a nearly 3 percent test positivity rate, according to new state data.

Schenectady County on Tuesday reported 30 new cases, up from 19 new cases reported Monday, while Capital Region school districts combined reported over 20 new cases identified Monday among students, teachers and staff. At least a dozen school districts reported new cases Monday and some have had to close buildings to students as quarantines cause staffing shortages.

Niskayuna High School shifted to all-virtual learning Tuesday after the district was notified of two new cases at the school on Monday, and a dozen teachers and staff members at the school were asked to quarantine. Due to the staffing shortage, the district said it planned to keep students learning remotely until Nov. 30, the Monday after Thanksgiving.

“Going to all-remote learning at the high school was not a decision we made lightly,” Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. said in a message to the district community. “However, based on the staffing shortage in this circumstance, we determined that it would not be possible to continue in-person learning at this time.”

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Tuesday reported 60 new cases in Albany County, while the five-day average of new cases decreased slightly from 85 to 82. Four new COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, lifting the number of hospitalized patients in the county from 37 to 40, according to the county update.

After a surge of new cases and rise in students and staff quarantining, Albany City school officials on Monday warned families they were preparing to shift all students to remote learning if necessary.

Shenendehowa school district officials on Tuesday reported new cases at Acadia Middle School, Shenendehowa High School and Tesago Elementary School.

Local colleges are also measuring their highest caseloads of the year as days wane before Thanksgiving breaks, after which students at most area schools aren’t scheduled to return to campuses until after Jan. 1.

Skidmore College students on Tuesday shifted to all-virtual classes after Skidmore President Marc Conner on Monday announced the college found seven new cases on Sunday, and the college was working with Saratoga County health officials to conduct contact tracing. The college also limited dining hall and library services and ramped up supplies to conduct testing of students before they leave campus for Thanksgiving.

“Given the fact that we have just a few days remaining in the semester, we should not let down our guard,” Conner said in his Monday message.

The College of Saint Rose also moved to all-remote classes Tuesday. Union College last week registered its highest case count of the term, Union President David Harris said in a message to the college community this weekend. Four students and four college employees tested positive last week and 45 students were in quarantine. In his message, Harris urged students to continue health precautions in the final days before the break.

“What we do today, tonight, and for the rest of the term will determine our ability to complete this term on campus,” Harris wrote in the message to the college community this weekend.

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