Capital Region COVID numbers slowly trend downward

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COVID-19 test positivity rates fell slightly across the Capital Region last week, according to information from the state.

Every county in the Capital Region experienced falling COVID test positivity rates last week, with Schenectady County’s seven-day test positivity rate dropping below 6 percent and its one-day test positive rate reaching the lowest level in nearly two months, according to state data updated Sunday.

The Capital Region’s overall seven-day test positivity rate dropped just below 7 percent as of Saturday’s test results, continuing a gradual downward trend since the region hit a 10 percent positivity rate Jan. 7.

The rates still remain relatively high, though, and Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties all had positivity rates above 8 percent, even as those rates continued to fall since high marks earlier this month.

The Capital Region also lagged other parts of the state in administering vaccines already received, according the data. The Capital Region had administered over 82,000 vaccines, about 68 percent of the total vaccines received in the county.

Colleges across the region are also starting a gradual process to welcome students back to campus for the spring semester. Union College, which started its winter term shortly after Jan. 1, last weekend announced plans for a two-week “campus quarantine” after the college registered more positive cases among students and staff upon their return to school than were measured the entire length of the fall term.

Union reported about 20 new cases over the past week, fewer than the college counted the previous week.

Skidmore College, which commences classes Feb. 1 along with the University of Albany, restarted on-campus testing last week, finding no positive cases among over 350 people tested.

Skidmore President Marc Conner in a video message warned students to continue adhering to on-campus health restrictions and highlighted the importance of limiting small gatherings even more aggressively than the college did in the fall.

“This situation continues to be very serious, and I cannot emphasize enough that we cannot let down our guard,” Conner said. “Indeed, we need to be even more careful and vigilant than in the fall.”

The college plans to test students twice a week for at least the first two weeks of the new semester, keeping a close eye on infection numbers as students settle back into campus life.

“The best advice is to assume everyone you encounter has the virus and to act accordingly,” he cautioned students.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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