By Shawn Ness | April 25, 2022
Photo Credit: Unsplash
COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in the Capital Region, with Albany County holding the highest positivity rate in the area at 6.5%. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Mar. 22 that the omicron subvariant, BA-2, which is more infectious, had become the dominant COVID-19 strain.
The University at Albany’s mask mandate was officially lifted in classrooms on Mar. 28, days after the WHO’s announcement. While the number of COVID-19 infections only seem to rise, health officials are reporting that the number of COVID-related hospitalizations remain low.
“Our COVID-19 protocols have not changed, but we’re watching the numbers closely,” said university spokesperson Jordan Carleo-Evangelist. “If we see a change in the numbers that suggests we need to modify our protocols, we’ll certainly do that. Mask requirements remain a campus-level decision.”
Across the state, 3.7% of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 tests are coming back positive, almost double that of the 1.4% seen in March. The last time the state reached a peak of this magnitude was Feb. 10.
The ASP attempted to reach out to the Dean of the Public Health school for comment, but has yet to receive a reply.
“If we’ve learned anything over the last couple of years, it’s that this virus can be hard to predict. Because of that, we’ve learned not to take things for granted and gotten used to taking our cues from the data,” said Carleo-Evangelist. “The most important thing we can do is remain vigilant. We’ve learned a lot about how to manage the ebb and flow of the pandemic, and if we stay vigilant, we should be well-prepared for whatever might come our way.”