Albany County sets several coronavirus records, ICU

ALBANY – Albany County set two more coronavirus registrations on Tuesday, reporting the highest daily amount recorded so far and the highest number of residents hospitalized in intensive care units.

A total of 226 new cases of the virus were confirmed among the residents of the counties overnight, announced on Tuesday the county executive Dan McCoy. This exceeded the maximum level of 222 new cases reported on 17 December.

Of the new cases, only 17 could be traced to a probable source of exposure, he said. A dozen of the new cases had contact with people with confirmed infections, and five were health workers.

The graph shows new cases of COVID-19 every day. Graphics by Cathleen F. Crowley and Bethany Bump / Times Union (About data)

Meanwhile, another 11 county residents were hospitalized with the virus overnight, although net hospitalizations among county residents fell six months to a total of 107 on Tuesday. However, McCoy said 23 residents with COVID-19 are now in intensive care units – the most since the pandemic began.

The large number of cases strains local health departments and detects contacts, who cannot keep up with the pace at which new cases are confirmed and have been forced to give priority to case investigations and appeals to people whose cases are most susceptible to do the most damage. Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen on Tuesday urged people to visit the county health department’s website if they get a positive test result, but no call from the health department.

“We have staff who work seven days a week to reach the cases that have been identified, but if you receive a call that you had a positive result and wait for that call from the health department, it will help you go to the site and educate- “We have tools that include what you need to know about isolation, what you need to know about quarantine, and even how you can start preparing your contact list for quarantine.”

Also Tuesday, Whalen said the county is starting to see cases of the flu and urged people to get vaccinated against the flu if they haven’t already. It takes about two weeks for vaccine protection to begin, so people should get it now, while the virus is still circulating in small numbers, she said.

Finally, she reminded people that the region has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths after the Thanksgiving holiday and urged people to avoid gathering with those outside their immediate household for Christmas at the end of this week.

Whalen said her large extended family gathered at her home on Christmas Eve for the past 21 years, but ruled against it this year because evidence has shown that indoor gatherings are a major source of COVID-19 spread.

“It’s difficult, but we know it will help, hopefully, in a small way, and each of you has a role to play,” she said. “We are approaching 2021. I know we all hope for a better year and it is important not to lose track of the importance of these behaviors as we enter the last step of home.”

Elsewhere in the region, county officials confirmed five more deaths on Tuesday due to complications caused by COVID-19.

Rensselaer County officials have confirmed the deaths of two nursing home residents, including a 76-year-old woman from the Riverside Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Castleton and a 91-year-old woman from the Eddy Heritage House in Troy. Both facilities have battled recent outbreaks that have killed at least 14 at Heritage House and five at Riverside.

Schenectady County also reported two resident deaths on Tuesday, and Saratoga County reported one. None of them revealed details about the victims.

Nearly 500 people in the capital’s region have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.