As COVID-19 cases rise, Albany County warns holidays ‘have to be different this year’


ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County continues monitoring a rise in positive coronavirus cases. Officials are warning it could mean the beginning of a second wave, and encourage residents to remain vigilant, especially as the holiday season approaches.

At a briefing Thursday morning, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy compared the number of positive cases over the past two weeks to a two-week period in April where the number of positive cases was near 300 residents. Health Commissioner Dr. Liza Whalen says while we have knowledge and experience going into this holiday season from our past outbreaks, we can’t let our guard down for celebrations and gatherings.

“Although it is something that everyone looks forward to this time of year, it has to be different this year. It has to be different until we get to a point where there is a safe and effective vaccine that is widely available,” Dr. Whalen said.

She doesn’t see that happening until after the New Year, at least, but more likely springtime.

McCoy said residents need to comply with the rules about getting together in large groups when it comes to weddings and birthday parties, and cited some recent intervention by law enforcement at gatherings exceeding capacity restrictions.

“I know we feel because we are family or we’re friends, that we can let our guard down,” McCoy said, “and Liza said this 1000 times: you can’t.”

Along with 27 new positive cases, there are 7 people in the hospital and one person in the ICU.

Dr. Whalen says hospital surge capacity will be a critical metric, especially as flu season gets underway at the same time as a rise in cases. She encourages residents to get their flu vaccine.

If you have concerns about being exposed to the coronavirus, there are several locations in Albany County to get tested. Click here for more information.


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