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Schenectady County has its first COVID-19 case

Schenectady County has its first COVID-19 case

New cases confirmed Friday in Albany and Schenectady counties
Schenectady County has its first COVID-19 case
Photographer: File Photo

SCHENECTADY COUNTY -- Schenectady County has its first confirmed COVID-19 case.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, during what has become a series of daily updates at the state Capital, said testing in the last day confirmed 96 new cases of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, bringing the state's total to 421. Schenectady was the only new county added to the list on Friday.

Elsewhere, Albany County had its second confirmed case. Saratoga County remains at three confirmed cases.

On Thursday, officials at Union College and Ellis Medicine in Schenectady said they each had a confirmed case at their campuses, but in both cases they said the individuals with COVID-19 did not live in Schenectady County. No details on the newly diagnosed case in Schenectady County were provided by the state Health Department.

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Shortly after the confirmed case, Schenectady County officials announced that all branches of the Schenectady County library system will be closed for the next two weeks. All fines for books that become due during that period will be waived.

The countywide senior citizen meals program, which serves at four sites, is suspended, with alternative arrangements under discussion for those who have no other options for a meal.

County officials also said visitation at the County Jail in Schenectady will be suspended, effective immediately. Visitation to the county's Glendale Home nursing home was suspended on Wednesday.

The County Legislature will hold a special meeting at noon Sunday at the County Office Building in downtown Schenectady to consider emergency measures in response to the outbreak, including setting up a $1 million pandemic response fund to be used to hire additional public health nurses and building cleaners, and establishing a sick bank that will be available for use by county employees.

The illness has now been found in 15 counties and in New York City. Cuomo said he expects the numbers to keep rising as more testing takes place. There were 59 new cases confirmed in New York City between Thursday and Friday.

"We're also dealing with the fear and anxiety New Yorkers are facing, and we're taking new actions every day as this situation evolves to address both," Cuomo said.

Reach staff writer Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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