Schenectady County COVID positive test rate falls as vaccination rate rises

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SCHENECTADY — Schenectady County’s positive COVID test rate dropped below 1% again Wednesday, the third time in two weeks it has crossed into fractional numbers.

Thursday brought more good news: The county is now tied for highest percentage in the state of adults at least partly vaccinated against the virus that has killed over a half-million Americans.

On Wednesday, 1,295 Schenectady County residents were tested for COVID and just 12 infections were confirmed, a positive rate of 0.9% state data indicated Thursday. 

On the seven-day rolling average, which smooths out one-time highs and lows, tests of county residents are running 1.3% positive, which still is higher than both the state and the regional rate but is down from 2.0% three weeks ago.

And as of 11 a.m. Thursday, 73.9% of county residents age 18 or older have received at least one dose of vaccine.

By comparison, 1.0% of tests have come back positive over the last week and 62.7% of adults at least partially vaccinated statewide; the numbers are 3.2% positive and 60.5% nationwide.

The eight counties of the Capital Region have all seen their COVID statistics rise and fall repeatedly since the pandemic reached the area in March 2020. The daily positive test rate in Schenectady County ranged from 0% in October to 14.5% in January.

As of Wednesday and Thursday, its pandemic metrics are:

  • 403,866 tests administered and 13,041 confirmed positives, a cumulative 3.2% positive rate, third-highest in the region after Columbia and Albany counties.
  • 93,667 residents at least partially vaccinated and 80,620 fully vaccinated.
  • 43,787 isolations or quarantines ordered because of confirmed or suspected infections, or proximity to known infected persons.
  • 4,414 infections, 52 hospitalizations and 0 deaths of residents younger than 30.
  • 1,199 infections, 370 hospitalizations and 116 deaths of residents age 70 and older.
  • 838 COVID hospitalizations.
  • 200 residents known dead of COVID, among the highest per-capita death tolls in the region.
  • 59 residents of assorted adult-care facilities dead of COVID.

In other COVID-related news Thursday:

  • CDTA, MVP Health Care and Schenectady County began a mobile vaccination program that will send a CDTA trolley and medical staff to various neighborhoods where vaccination rates are lagging; the inaugural stops Thursday were both in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood.
  • The state announced another vaccination incentive: People getting the shot at 10 state-run mass vaccination sites (none of them in or near the Capital Region) will get a free NYS Lottery scratch-off card that retails for $20 and offers a 1-in-9 chance at prizes ranging from $20 to $5 million.
  • The state announced Albany International Airport and six other airports across the state would host pop-up vaccination clinics Monday through Friday next week.
  • New York state surpassed 18 million doses of COVID vaccine administered; it is 10th-highest among the 50 states in doses per-capita and first among the states with more than 10 million residents.

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