Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are 178 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the County, with 13 persons hospitalized. There are now 539 persons under mandatory quarantine and 234 persons in precautionary quarantine. Please remember that these numbers should not be interpreted to suggest a slowing of the spread of COVID-19.
With several weeks of data, health professionals have found that communities which are strictly adhering to standard health guidelines have reduced the spread of COVID-19 and are seeing the better outcomes. I strongly recommend following health professional guidance by maintaining physical separation (minimum of six feet), regularly washing hands with soap for 20 seconds and using a hand sanitizer when you do not have soap and water, and coughing or sneezing into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
This crisis and required physical separation is putting tremendous economic pressure on local businesses, most of which are owned by and employ Town residents. You can help our community by supporting local businesses online and visiting local stores consistent with health guidelines and the Governor’s Executive Orders. To help with planning, here is the list of “essential retail” that remains open:
- grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
- convenience stores
- farmers’ markets
- gas stations
- restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
- hardware, appliance and building material stores
- pet food
The list explains why pet stores (because of “pet food”), liquor stores (“beverage”), and Best Buy (“appliance”) are open. The Guilderland Chamber of Commerce has a new online small business hub (https://www.guilderlandchamber.com/guilderland-small-business-hub/) with more information on how you can support our local businesses. This website will be updated as more businesses are added. Before venturing out, please call ahead because many stores are operating with limited hours. And if you do head out, give some forethought to checking those special recipes that require wine and liquor in their preparation.
This morning, my wife and I hiked the Vosburgh Trails (about five miles) with the hope (at least mine) of catching a glimpse of an elusive black bear or maybe even a coyote, fox, or some other sport mascot (there may be a few exceptions, like extinct raptors (unique time for Jurassic Park Guilderland?)). No luck today, but lots of great views along the Normanskill, a really loud woodpecker (sound carries well in still air), awakening wildlife, and other friendly hikers who, of course, maintained physical separation.
Thank you again for staying safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber