Albany, Schenectady county leaders encourage masks, vaccinations

In his first COVID briefing since Thanksgiving, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy reported some sobering statistics.

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So far this month, there have been nine COVID deaths. That’s more than double what the county saw in the first week of November, when there were four.

There have been 1,869 new infections, including 157 since Monday.

"Of the 52 county residents currently hospitalized, 69% are not vaccinated, 2% are partially vaccinated, 29% are fully vaccinated," said McCoy.

He was joined by Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman. Both repeated the call for people to get the shots. Beyond that, they said additional measures would need a regional approach. Stopping short of mandates, they instead issued a joint public health advisory. It doesn’t change anything. It just notifies the public this is a bad situation.

"Simply because we haven’t implemented any new restrictions doesn’t mean we aren’t relying on people to do the right thing," said McCoy.

Both leaders expressed concern about hospital bed availability, rising numbers and people congregating without masks – regardless of vaccination status.

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Learn why despite the numbers, new mask mandates have not been issued as of yet, by watching the video of Jerry Gretzinger’s story.