Capital Region tops NYC with highest percent positive COVID-19 cases in the state

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Though cases of the coronavirus remain low throughout the state, the Capital Region had the highest percentage of positive cases over weekend at 2%, rivaling New York City’s 1.3%.

Albany County pointing to gatherings of people mostly under the age of 30 as factor in the rise and an outbreak at a private nursing home accounting for the majority of the new cases in Rensselaer County.

In Albany County, there were 25 new cases over the weekend—eight of those infected are between the ages of 20 and 29, with one person under the age of 19. Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says it’s a dangerous trend.

“Because they’re the ones with no signs or symptoms, they’re the ones that continue to go out and they’re infecting people,” he said.

The five-day average rising from 8.8 new cases per day, to 10.4 in Albany County.  

“It’s not necessarily a spike, it is concerning. We want to watch it,” said Rensselaer County Executive Steve Mclaughlin.  

He says of the 23 new cases Sunday, 19 are linked to an outbreak at Riverside Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Castleton.

With 30 confirmed cases at the facility, he’s calling for a state investigation. The Department of Health says they inspected the facility last week and found no deficiencies and sufficient levels of personal protective equipment.

“We’re four to five months into this thing and to have this problem pop up now is especially concerning for us,” said McLaughlin.

A new Siena Poll says the majority of New Yorkers, 62%, believe the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.

“I am concerned that it could get worse. Flu and COVID together could make for a very difficult season,” said said Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.

But she says he course of the virus is totally dependent on people’s behavior.

“Wearing a mask in public, wearing a mask correctly,” she said.

Rensselaer county leaders encouraging mask use too, but they’re taking a far more lenient approach.

“Everybody has to calm down a little bit and understand that the masks are not 100%.” said McLaughlin.

Both McCoy and McLaughlin say the new cases are plenty cause for concern, but not a reason to panic.

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