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Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan Provides Update to City Residents Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak Response

April 24, 2020

Date: April 24, 2020
Contact: David Galin
(518) 801-2857

Stay Home.  Be Kind.  Save Lives.

ALBANY, NY – Today, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan provided residents with a video update regarding the City’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To view Mayor Sheehan’s message, please visit the City's Facebook page.

In this week’s video update, Mayor Sheehan wished our Muslim friends and neighbors Ramadan Kareem and highlighted the work of the Albany chapter of the NAACP.  Mayor Sheehan also  discussed the health disparities that are being highlighted by COVID-19, and stressed the importance of residents reaching out to their doctor if they feel sick, getting tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19, and going to the hospital if they are very sick.

Walk-Up Testing Sites:
On Friday, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy announced the upcoming schedule for walk-up COVID-19 test sites in Albany’s South End, Arbor Hill, and West End neighborhoods. 

Monday, April 27
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Capital South Campus, 20 Warren Street, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (time change due to South End Children’s Café Food Drive)

Tuesday, April 28
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Equinox, 500 Central Avenue, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 30
Capital South Campus, 20 Warren Street, 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Friday, May 1
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

All sites will be available on a walk-up basis, however an appointment is required.  To make an appointment, please call (518) 465-4771 and press 0.

Please visit Albany County’s COVID-19 Test website for the most up to date test schedule information.

It is crucial that we are bringing tests to our entire community, especially given the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on our historically underserved communities.  Mayor Sheehan applauds County Executive Daniel McCoy and County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen for working with the Whitney Young Health Center to open these three walk-up testing sites in our South End, Arbor Hill, and West End neighborhoods.

Please note: the drive-up test site at SUNY University at Albany remains open, however an appointment is required.  To make an appointment, please call the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065.

Ensuring residents stay safe:
As part of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.17, a face covering is now required in public when individuals cannot maintain social distancing and when utilizing public transportation.  Mayor Sheehan is working with community-based organizations and the City’s Common Council to ensure residents are connected with a mask if they are unable to obtain one.  On Friday, Mayor Sheehan distributed cloth masks to several senior housing buildings and Albany 518 SNUG alongside 10th Ward Councilmember Owusu Anane and 11th Ward Councilmember Alfredo Balarin.  If a resident does not have a mask, Mayor Sheehan encouraged residents to reach out to City Hall or their Common Council Member to be connected with one.

Echoing Governor Cuomo’s call to the Federal Government:
This week, Mayor Sheehan wrote a letter to President Trump echoing Governor Andrew Cuomo's call for the federal government to provide 50% hazard pay to our essential public employees and ensure state and local governments across the country receive the funding necessary to continue to protect the public, provide essential services, and do the important work of rebuilding the economy.  Now more than ever, residents from every state and city, Albany included, need our federal government to answer the call and rise to the occasion.

During her weekly message, Mayor Sheehan made it clear that while the City of Albany has worked diligently to continue providing essential services during this outbreak, the financial strain has been significant and severe.  The Federal Government’s recent decision to not provide fiscal relief to states and local governments is causing Mayor Sheehan to grow concerned about the City’s ability to continue to provide essential services.  Mayor Sheehan also stated the City is actively looking into what steps may be necessary to address those shortfalls.

Mayor Sheehan continues to make the City’s voice heard in Congress to ensure direct aid to states and local governments is provided, especially as communities across the nation face drastic decreases in revenue and an increase in unexpected expenses.  Mayor Sheehan is also working closely with Mayors across the region, state, and nation to ensure the Federal Government answers the call.

Mayor Sheehan also shared how while at home Thursday evening she looked out her window to see the Corning Tower lit up to say “NY Tough.”  Mayor Sheehan thanked Governor Cuomo for making this a reality and for reminding residents across the state that we are New York Tough.  This message is a reminder of the resilience and grit that is a part of every New Yorker, and it’s also a message that we are all in this together.  Mayor Sheehan reminded residents that what we are doing is working, and now more than ever, we need to stay home and be kind so we can save lives.

COVID-19 Prevention Reminders:
As a reminder, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the Albany County Department of Health for the most recent guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions and symptoms.

All individuals are urged to continue following social distancing protocols, including staying at home as much as possible, especially if you feel ill but even if you feel well, keeping at least 6 feet from other individuals, regularly washing hands, covering coughs, avoiding the touching of face, eyes, mouth, nose, and ears, and taking special caution to avoid exposing the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

You may also find a variety of City of Albany-specific COVID-19 response information, including information regarding where to access food or child care, school closures, and how to volunteer, by visiting the City of Albany COVID-19 Resource Guide.