COVID-19 deaths begin to decline in the Capital Region
COVID-19 deaths begin to decline in the Capital Region

COVID-19 deaths begin to decline in the Capital Region

Deaths due to COVID-19 are declining in the eight county regions as hospitalizations of the disease fall to levels not seen since October.

More than 1,800 residents of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties have died since the pandemic began, with 374, or one in five, of these deaths since December 2 – the day when highly contagious omicron- variant was first identified in New York, a Times Union analysis of stat data shows.

During that time, local counties have reported an average of 32 resident deaths per week due to coronavirus. And as many health officials predicted, the worst of the pandemic was felt during the first few weeks of January, with local counties reporting a maximum of 46 weekly deaths from coronavirus during the seven-day periods ending January 10 and 17. January.

The rate at which residents in the area are dying of COVID-19 has dropped since then. On Monday, counties had reported a total of 17 weekly deaths from the virus for a total of 1,844 resident deaths in total.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy noted the declining death rate Tuesday.

“I am pleased to report that there were no new COVID deaths overnight and we now have the lowest number of residents of Albany County in the hospital with the virus since November 20,” he said. “We also have the lowest average positive percentage since early November.”

New cases and hospitalizations from the virus have been declining in the region since January.

The number of persons tests positive for the virus in the Capital Region peaked on 7 January with 3,536. That number had dropped to 145 as of Monday. Admissions peaked on January 18 with 432 patients in the area’s hospitals with the disease (some had been admitted for other reasons but tested positive at admission, state data shows). As of Monday, the patient load had dropped to 144 – a figure not seen since early October.

“As our death, hospitalization and infection rates continue to fall, there is plenty of room for optimism and I would like to thank everyone who helped us get to this point,” McCoy said.

Although the region’s numbers are moving in a positive direction, community transfer remains high in the eight-county area, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public officials are urging parents who have not already done so to vaccinate their children. Just 39 percent of children in New York aged 5 to 11 have received a dose of the coronavirus vaccine compared to 92 percent of adults over 18 years of age.

“While students are free for midwinter vacations, I urge parents and guardians to take advantage of this time to consult with their pediatricians and make a plan to get their children vaccinated and boosted,” Governor Kathy Hochul said Tuesday. “More than 1.6 million children in the state of New York have already received the vaccine. The vaccine is medically approved and our best tool to stop the spread of COVID-19, so there is no need to delay further.”

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