ALBANY — Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, the county saw 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, July 2, the first time there were 10 or more since June 26. The highest single day total of new cases, 64, came in April.
The hospitalization rate, though, remains at .26 percent and the county has not seen a death since the 121st was recorded on June 24.
As of Thursday, there were 1,915 positive cases in Albany County with 224 under mandatory quarantine. Of those who tested positive, 1,876 have recovered.
County Executive Dan McCoy said while the 14 new cases doesn’t seem like a lot, it is concerning.
“We are heading into the Fourth of July weekend and people will be barbequing and going to Lake George or Thompkins Lake so wear a mask and keep your social distance,” he said. “If we have this spike, and this spike continues, we will be slowing down and we will be going backwards.”
The demographic most concerning, he said, are the 20-year-olds, which is consistent with what is happening in states that are seeing record number of new infections and are being forced to slow down their reopening plans.
In Albany County, the highest number of positive cases are 20-year-olds, with 340, well ahead of the 50-year-olds, with 316 positive cases. Thirty-year-olds are a distance third with 242.
“I get it. You are out and about and you show no signs and symptoms and you feel good but just wear a mask,” McCoy implored those between 20 and 29. “If you don’t want to help yourself, do it to help someone else.”
The danger is the young and healthy can and do get infected and not realize it. At the same time, they don’t realize they are spreading it to someone who is more vulnerable to serious illness or death from the virus.
Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, head of the county Health Department, said the spike, albeit relatively small, is not the direction the county wants to be heading.
“We are seeing exponentially growing numbers in other areas and the driver of the infection is that group between 19 and 35,” she said. “They are generally healthy, and are fond of socializing, which is understandable, but they need to know they have to follow the protocols. I can’t emphasize how important it is to wear masks.”