As coronavirus numbers continue to show improvement across the state, two more people in the region tested positive for the more contagious UK variant.
Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy announced two residents tested positive for the variant in a news release Saturday.
“Our health department continues to investigate but doesn’t have any further information at this time,” he said. “We will report updates regarding these new variant cases. We do know this strain is more easily spread so we remind everyone to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, cough and sneeze into your elbow, practice social distancing and do not gather with groups of people who don’t live with you.”
A total of nine people in the area have tested positive for the variant.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday in a release that on Wednesday at 8 a.m. people in Schenectady living in zip codes 12304, 12305 12307 and 12308 could make appointments for a state and Federal Emergency Management Agency run vaccination site at 196 Washington Ave., Albany. Those zip codes include downtown Schenectady, Hamilton Hill, the State Street Corridor, the North side and Goose Hill. They are areas with relatively high minority populations.
The release comes as the governor has been setting up sites to provide vaccines to vulnerable and underserved areas across the state as part of his Vaccine Equity Task Force.
People residing in zip codes 12202, 12206, 12207, 12209 and 12210 in Albany County, and zip code 12180 in Rensselaer County will also be eligible receive vaccinations at that site.
These announcements come as the state has seen a decline in the state’s positivity rate, hospitalization rates and deaths.
Friday there were 97 deaths, including two deaths in both Schenectady and Rensselaer counties. Friday was the first time since Dec. 16 the state was below 100 deaths per day.
Friday was also the lowest positivity rate—3.06%—the state has seen since Nov. 23, according to a release from the governor’s office. The seven-day average positivity rate has been declining for 43 consecutive days and hospitalizations dropped below 6,000 for the first time since Dec. 14.
“Our ability to beat back COVID is entirely dependent on our actions, and the post-holiday reduction in positivity and hospitalizations demonstrates that New Yorkers are continuing to do the right things to stay safe,” Cuomo said. “As these numbers go down, vaccinations are going up, and that means we’re making real progress toward the light at the end of the tunnel. We have the capacity and distribution network to get even more vaccines in arms, but because of limited supply this will continue to be a marathon, not a sprint. In the meantime, we must continue masking up and practicing good social distancing—actions that we know will tame the COVID beast.”