Capital Region counties worried about spike in COVID cases

Health officials in the Capital Region want to avoid the spread of the coronavirus over the holidays, but some local counties are already in hot water.

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"Just knowing we’re in a worse place now than we were last year, and we haven’t even hit the holidays. It’s making me very nervous," said Warren County Public Health Director Ginelle Jones.

Warren County currently reports a nearly 10% positivity rate heading into the holidays. It was just over 1% this same time last year.

That’s why Jones is strongly encouraging at-home rapid testing before any holiday gatherings.

"I’m more concerned now about transmission within households with the delta variant."

If you use an at-home testing kit, and you test positive, Jones said to let your doctors and health department know.

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Warren County is not the only one experiencing a spike in cases, so is Albany County.

This week, Albany County reported the highest single-day increase of COVID-19 infections since late January.

"What’s scary to me is that people think now that they have the vaccine or they got the booster shot, that they can go out, they don’t have to wear a mask. They can just go to concerts and go to movies like it’s back to normal, and we’ve never said that," said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

He also said they also don’t want to see another bad spike after the holidays. In January, Albany County reported 89 deaths.

They are also encouraging vaccinations, boosters and testing ahead of the festive season.

"We can’t let this happen again. We’re encouraging people who have not gotten the vaccine, roll up your sleeve, be part of the solution not part of the problem," McCoy said.

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Even though vaccines are widely available, local health officials say the spread of COVID-19 is significantly higher heading into the holidays this year than in 2020.

The delta variant continues to be the main strain causing infections.

MORE INFORMATION: New York State coronavirus dashboard | Vaccine tracker