ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10/WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — COVID-19 hospitalizations in Albany County are up 200 percent in the past week, according to the CDC. The same is being reported in Rensselaer County. Both counties are considered to have a “medium” level of COVID-19 hospital admissions.

The rise in local hospitalizations echoes similar trends elsewhere in the country.

“We’re doing everything that we can in the hospital to protect our workforce, so that we’re here for you to take care of all of your needs,” said Kassandra Foley, St. Peter’s Health Partners Regional Director of Infection Prevention, “not just COVID or respiratory season.”

Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen said wastewater data is also showing an uptick in detection of COVID. This metric is now a leading, predictive indicator of the spread of the virus, as the county is no longer asking people to report individual cases of COVID.

“It’s important for the public to know that the vast majority of us have some level of immunity to COVID at this point, either through getting a dose of vaccination or booster series, or getting natural infection,” Dr. Whalen explained.

Dr. Whalen added the county has been assisting facilities like nursing homes and schools, which have recently reported clusters of infections.

“As parents, going back to school, they should know that we are keeping on top of it in the school environment,” Dr. Whalen said.

An updated COVID vaccine booster is reportedly coming. County officials said an official date has not been made available, but they are hoping for September, and they recommend those over 60 speak to their doctors about vaccination for RSV, as respiratory viral season is approaching. They also recommend the flu shot. St. Peter’s Health Partners has the option to make your appointment to get yours online.

St. Peter’s is currently not mandating mask wearing inside its facilities.