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Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy announced today with County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen that as of this morning, there are now 309 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County. Additionally, there are now 459 people under mandatory quarantine and 57 people under precautionary quarantine. The number of deaths in the county related to COVID-19 stands at eight.
With 39 people now hospitalized, the hospitalization rate for Albany County stands at just over 12.6%. Thirteen of those individuals are now in Intensive Care Units (ICU). Kevin O’Connor, the Albany County Director of Economic Development, Conservation and Planning, joined the County Executive for the announcement to discuss the Strategic Economic Development Plan that looks to provide relief to local businesses amid mass layoffs and skyrocketing unemployment claims and plan for the economic recovery.
“We’ve seen the devastation COVID-19 has brought to local families. People are getting sick and tragically losing their lives. At the same time, people are also having their hours at work cut, losing their jobs, some businesses are going under and we could be headed for a record-setting recession. That’s why this strategic economic blueprint couldn’t come at a better time,” said County Executive McCoy.
“Albany County is the only county in the region that doesn’t have its own economic development entity. This plan will change that with the creation of an independent public-private organization that is free of politics, while providing immediate relief to the local community and charting a path forward to restart the economy once this pandemic is over and even further in the future.”
The economic development plan envisioned by County Executive McCoy was completed by Camoin Associates in January after the County Executive convened the Albany County Business Advisory Board last year. The strategy was unanimously endorsed by the Advisory Board. It consists of short term and long term steps that will fundamentally change the economic trajectory of Albany County.
Aside from the creation of a new public-private organizations, one of the main goals in the early phases of the plan is a Business Retention and Expansion Program, directing small businesses to available financial resources at the local, state and federal levels. Broadly, this new initiative will fill the gaps that currently exist in the county’s economic development ecosystem, aligns regional resources, targets investments around catalytic projects and key infrastructure, transforms the county’s image, and looks to create, retain and attract top talent and industries. The executive summary and full report can be found at the below link:
For those who experience stress, anxiety or even depression during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, County Executive McCoy also announced that the County Mental Health Support Line has expanded its hours and is now available seven days a week from 8am to 8pm thanks to additional help from community volunteers. Residents can access that line at (518) 269-6634. The County Executive is also offering videos on coping, AAU martial arts, exercise and more on the Albany County official website at the below link. Anyone experiencing a psychiatric emergency should still call the Albany County Mobile Crisis Team at (518) 549–6500.
Daily briefings are recorded and may be seen with slides on AlbanyCounty.com, the county’s Facebook page, public access channels- Open Stage Media in Schenectady and Channel Albany in the city of Albany and on Capitol OTB – Channel 1250 Spectrum and Channel 467 on Fios.
For all COVID-19 questions and concerns, residents are encouraged to use United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline as well as the State Department of Health’s hot line at 888-364-3065.