Columbia, Albany, Rensselaer counties join Greene with substantial level of COVID-19 spread
Pete DeMola and Lauren Stanforth report in the Times Union that last week Greene was the only local county to have so many COVID-19 cases to reach the CDC level recommending indoor mask use. Now Columbia, Albany, Rensselaer, and Schoharie counties are added to that list. Most local counties now have reached the "substantial" level of community spread that requires wearing masks indoors again as the Delta variant of COVID-19 is much more contagious and dangerous. The CDC now says, "to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission." Local officials say that everyone getting vaccinated is the only way out of the pandemic. “Data continues to show vaccination decreases the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death," Albany County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen said. "We encourage people to follow the CDC guidelines and we will continue to evaluate the data and respond appropriately.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.