Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says the Capital Region's low number of COVID-19 cases raises the possibility the region could get an early start on phase three of the reopening. The counties in the Capital Region are set to begin reopening next week, but McCoy said he's asking Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to allow the phase to begin as early as Friday.
( Credit: Lori Van Buren/Times Union)
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy made a pitch Wednesday to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to start phase three early in the Capital Region. McCoy said at his daily press conference that with the region’s coronavirus numbers either flat or declining, there is proof that trends are moving in the right direction and phase three can begin before next Wednesday, June 17, the day it is currently scheduled to start.
He suggested the new phase could begin Friday or sometime this weekend in the local region – which includes Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties.
An earlier phase three would time the Capital Region's reopening schedule with five other regions- including the Mohawk Valley and North Country - which are scheduled to begin their phase three on Friday.
Phase three allows the reopening of indoor dining and personal care services like nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors – but with safety precautions in place, such as dining at 50 % capacity and mandatory mask use by employees.
Meanwhile, overnight Tuesday another person died in Albany County from COVID-19, bringing the county's death toll to 116. The victim was a woman in her 70s who was in an ICU. But new positive tests numbered just four in Albany County, and the hospitalization rate remained under 1 percent, at .66 percent of all people who have tested positive.
Saratoga County on Wednesday also reported two more positive cases overnight Tuesday, with hospitalizations remaining at four people, and no new deaths reported to its count of 17 lives lost. “The safety and health of residents come first before anything else,” McCoy said, but added “ our numbers have been great.” “The governor is calling the shots, he’s telling us what to do. We’re just playing on his field,” McCoy said. “I’m hoping the governor will say this Capital District region can open up this weekend if our numbers stay flat. It will probably be Wednesday, June 17 - but I’m just putting it out there.” The county executive added, “overall if you look at the curve, we’re definitely on a downward trend.”