SCHENECTADY — With attendance at COVID vaccination clinics waning, Schenectady County will be making more house calls.
County officials announced expansion of the Schenectady County Delivers program, which brings the vaccine to county residents who can’t get out to a vaccination site. The program will prioritize those who are homebound for medical reasons but will consider providing the service to those constrained by childcare or other issues.
Multiple members of the same household can receive a dose during these visits.
Schenectady County Public Health Services will be dedicating as many as 30 staff members to this effort, ranging from scheduling shots to administering them and following up afterward.
Schenectady County has the fourth-highest first-shot vaccination rate among the state’s 62 counties — 53.5% as of Wednesday morning.
County officials have said this was achieved in part through small-scale partnerships — teaming up with community leaders who know and are known by local residents to spread the word about vaccination and set up Points of Dispensing, or PODs, in places accessible to them.
Residents seeking the vaccine through Schenectady County Delivers can call (518) 836-2400 from 8:30-4:30 on weekdays.
“We do ask that anyone who is able to access our community PODs to do so, as resources for this important program are limited,” County Legislator Sara Mae Pratt said in a news release.
In other COVID news Wednesday:
- Bars and restaurants will be next to benefit in the slow-moving and incremental restart of New York. Gov Andrew Cuomo said the midnight curfew on food and beverage service would be lifted for outdoor dining areas May 17 and indoor dining areas May 31. Also, the 1 a.m. curfew on catered events will be lifted May 17 for events at which everyone tests negative or is vaccinated and will be lifted entirely May 31.
- The state Legislature rescinded the governors order that food must be purchased along with alcohol in bars and restaurants, a mid-2020 rule that led to the rise of a derisively named snack — Cuomo Chips — at watering holes statewide.
- The Capital Region Vaccine Network reported that this area was the first among New York’s 10 regions to surpass 50% of residents with at least one dose of vaccine in their arms. Among the eight Capital Region counties, only Greene and Washington are lower than the statewide 45.1% one-dose rate.
- The seven-day average positive COVID test rate dropped to 2.0% statewide. At the county level, the rate was Albany 1.8%, Fulton 2.5%, Rensselaer 0.9%, Saratoga 1.7%, Schenectady 1.9% and Schoharie 1.1%. Montgomery County stood at 4.7%, tying it with Sullivan County for highest seven-day positive rate in the state.