ALBANY — The Capital Region’s largest county looked back on the COVID pandemic Friday, a year to the day after the first two cases were reported there.
Albany County has had the highest numbers in the area during the pandemic. Greene County has a higher positive test rate cumulatively, Montgomery County suffered a higher death rate per capita, Fulton County is home to the hardest-hit nursing home in the region.
But for sheer numbers, Albany County (population 305,506) is far ahead of its neighbors: 549,691 tests administered, 21,511 infections confirmed, 66,673 quarantines ordered, 337 residents dead. And now, 82,030 residents with at least one shot of vaccine in their shoulders.
“It’s hard to believe that one year has passed since we confirmed those first two cases of COVID-19 in Albany County,” County Executive Daniel McCoy said in a prepared statement Friday. “Everyone has been affected, some more than others. Too many have lost mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, friends and loved ones. Others have had to shut down their businesses for good or lost life savings.
“But along with the pain and suffering the coronavirus has caused, our community has come together for the greater good in a way that I’ve never seen before, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
In other COVID-related news Friday:
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the decision by President Biden to open up vaccination to everyone on May 1 will put the state to the test — about 15 million New Yorkers will become eligible at that point, a jump from about 11 million now. So preparations are being made now to ready the distribution network for the campaign, he said.
- The 178,118 doses of vaccine administered in the preceding 24 hours lifted New York state to 21.0% of the population with at least one dose.
- Cuomo signed a law granting public- and private-sector workers up to four hours of leave for the purpose of being vaccinated, with no cost to accrued vacation or other leave time, effective immediately.
- The seven-day positive COVID test average stood at 3.1% statewide, 1.9% in the Capital Region and 1.4% in the Mohawk Valley. At the county level, the rate was Albany 2.0%, Fulton 2.7%, Montgomery 3.4%, Rensselaer 1.3%, Saratoga 2.2%, Schenectady 1.9%, and Schoharie 1.2%.
- The official state death toll increased by 74 to 39,385, including one death each in Albany, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.
- Statewide, 4,634 people were hospitalized with COVID, 97 of them in the Capital Region and 61 in the Mohawk Valley.