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

May 02, 2020

Date: May 2, 2020

Contact: David Galin
(518) 801-2857

ALBANY, NY – On Friday, 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.

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

Monday, May 4
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center 920 Lark Drive, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
Equinox, 500 Central Ave, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Tuesday, May 5
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Wednesday, May 6
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
Equinox, 500 Central Avenue, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Thursday, May 7
Capital South Campus, 20 Warren Street, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Friday, May 8
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

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.

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: SUNY Albany's drive-through testing site continues to be available by appointment to test symptomatic individuals as well as asymptomatic essential workers. To make an appointment, please call the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065.

Re-Opening the Capital Region:
We have reached the end of our second month of NYS on Pause. On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced that all K-12 schools and college facilities will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Last week, Governor Cuomo also announced the conditions that need to be met before any region in the state can start to re-open. Mayor Sheehan understands that this is hard news to bear. Many residents are feeling drained from this months-long initiative to flatten the curve. With the onset of Spring and news about other states and governments reopening, residents may be tempted to relax their compliance with social-distancing guidelines, but if we want to re-open we must remain vigilant—we must show 14 days of decreasing COVID-19 infection rates in order to move forward. With that, Mayor Sheehan implored residents to keep washing their hands, wearing masks, staying at home, and practicing social distancing.

Virtual Tulip Festival:
On Friday, the City of Albany announced it will be holding a virtual Tulip Festival celebration on Saturday, May 9th. The virtual event will feature musical performances, Tulip garden tours, local business take out specials, prizes and more.

"While I join so many of you that are looking forward to getting back to celebrating the annual Tulip Fest the way we are accustom to, I am excited to participate in the first ever virtual Tulip Fest," said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. "I want to thank the Office of Cultural Affairs for their commitment to reinventing this and many other traditional Albany events in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and hope you and your family and friends will virtually join us on May 9th."

The virtual Tulip Festival will feature musical performances from local talents like The Age, Erin Harkes, Hartley's Encore, Caity Gallagher and many others. City of Albany Gardeners will also provide tours of the Tulip beds, local businesses will celebrate the day with take-out specials, and Melvin the Magnificent will put on a magic show for the kids. The video will premiere on the YouTube Page Albany Events and on the @AlbanyNYEvents social media channels on Saturday, May 9th, at 12:00 p.m.

Businesses Helping Others:
Businesses across the region continue to assist our communities during the outbreak. Earlier this week, Mayor Sheehan visited with Vincent and the team at Quick Response as they provided vital cleaning services to the Albany Fire Department by cleaning every fire apparatus. Golden Harvest Farms has donated several bottles of hand sanitizer to the Albany Police Department, and sCube has donated masks to Albany Medical Center, St. Anne Institute, local doctors and surgeons, and local police officers and fire fighters.

Fiscal Strain Created by COVID-19:
Cities, towns, and villages across the country are facing fiscal challenges because of lost revenue from this pandemic. Albany could see truly unprecedented losses of up to $21 million in revenue from lost sales tax, cuts in state aid, and reductions in departmental incomes. Mayor Sheehan continues to lobby every day for Congress to act and provide local governments with funds to replace the City’s lost revenue. Mayor Sheehan’s reiterated that funding from the federal government is essential because now is not the time to cut essential city services, particularly because municipalities are critically important to re-opening our economy.

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.