COVID infection rates dropping steadily in Capital Region

COVID infection rates dropping steadily in Capital Region

ALBANY — The rate of confirmed new COVID infections has been diminishing for more than a week in the Capital Region, state data show.The rolling average of new infections had steadily increased from mid-March to mid-May then leveled off at 57 new infections per day per 100,000 residents on May 16. It decreased every day to hit 38.5 on May 26.A similar decline has been seen in many of New York's 10 regions and in the state as a whole.Gov. Kathy Hochul noted the decrease in the statewide average in an update Friday, and also suggested that people take precautions…
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Light impact so far as COVID variant BA.2 spreads in NY

Light impact so far as COVID variant BA.2 spreads in NY

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett say BA.2 is becoming the dominant strain of COVID-19 in New York but they do not expect it to create another big wave of infections here. BA.2, a subvariant of omicron, has been gradually increasing as a percentage of positive tests statewide even as the overall number of daily new infections has plummeted in the last two months. It now accounts for 42% of new infections in New York, Bassett said Monday at a news conference with the governor. BA.2 is blamed for a recent, sharp increase of…
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COVID hospitalization hits seven-month lows in Capital Region, Mohawk Valley

COVID hospitalization hits seven-month lows in Capital Region, Mohawk Valley

ALBANY — New York hospitals on Thursday reported fewer than 1,000 COVID-positive inpatients for the first time since Aug. 4, 2021.Hospitalization rates are one of the best measures of the pandemic, and the 978 COVID patients on Thursday compares with a recent peak of 12,761 on Jan. 11, state Department of Health data show.The steep drop is even better news than it appears on its face: Only 404 (or 41%) of those 978 inpatients were admitted due to COVID or its complications. The rest had mild or no symptoms, and were admitted for other medical reasons, or their infection was…
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Feds: Amsterdam doctor fired staffer who reported COVID violations; He earlier sued Wilton butcher over masks

Feds: Amsterdam doctor fired staffer who reported COVID violations; He earlier sued Wilton butcher over masks

ALBANY — The Amsterdam doctor who sued a butcher shop manager over a COVID mask mandate has himself been sued, for allegedly firing an employee who reported COVID protocol violations at his office. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday said the move by ophthalmologist Dr. David Kwiat was a form of illegal retaliation. Whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 24 other statutes protect employees who report violations of law. The DOL complaint alleges that an employee expressed concerns to a supervisor from March 2020 to December 2020 about the lack of COVID-19 safety protocols, including…
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Comptroller blasts state DOH over nursing home COVID response

Comptroller blasts state DOH over nursing home COVID response

ALBANY — The state Comptroller’s Office on Tuesday released an audit highly critical of the state Department of Health and its response to nursing homes amid the COVID pandemic. Among the key findings were that DOH: Was ill-prepared to respond to infectious diseases even before the pandemic hit New York in March 2020; Became part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deliberate under-reporting of the terrible death toll in nursing homes;  Stalled on a federal directive to survey nursing homes for infection control problems; Knew one of its key informational systems was incomplete and unreliable long before the pandemic but took no…
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NY school mask mandate continues at least 3 more weeks

NY school mask mandate continues at least 3 more weeks

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday lifted her mask mandate for businesses, effective Thursday, but left it in place for schools through at least early March.The mask requirement also remains in effect as a COVID-control measure in state-regulated health facilities and elder-care facilities; jails and prisons; childcare centers; homeless shelters; domestic violence shelters; and in buses, trains and transportation facilities.Counties, cities and businesses can choose to require masks indoors, but aside from the numerous exceptions, the state is no longer mandating the practice.At a morning news conference, the governor noted that every metric of COVID-19 is substantially better now…
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