Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are 142 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the County, with ten persons hospitalized. There are now 557 persons under mandatory quarantine and 633 persons under precautionary quarantine. The County DOH did not provide details on confirmed cases or quarantines in a particular municipality.
County Executive Daniel P. McCoy stated that over 2,800 persons have been tested in the County but that the lack of adequate testing kits has caused a decline in testing and may not give a good understanding of how the virus is spreading in the County. As stated by the County Executive, “[t]he lowering rate of increase in positive cases should not give the public a false sense of security, and we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and follow the directives from Governor Cuomo.”
For a round of good news for a change, the County Executive reported that the Farnsworth Middle School student who tested positive for COVID-19 has recovered and that no other student has tested positive. I am also pleased to report that there has been a slight increase in activities at Town Hall since last Wednesday’s closing of all Town buildings. With the end of the two-week quarantine of the families of certain Middle School students, affected Town employees have returned on a limited basis to perform essential services. It is refreshing to see familiar faces and even the slightest movement toward normalcy is appreciated. Despite this small uptick in employees at Town Hall, your best method of obtaining Town services is by email or the Town website, and not by phone.
While other places have closed parks, we have decided to keep all Town parks, open space, and trails open for public use. The Town parks are seeing heavier usage than usual this time of year and patrons are maintaining social distancing. Please stay home if you are sick, continue to stay at least six feet from others, and practice good hygiene by washing hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds and following cough etiquette, and refraining from group activities like basketball and team sports. Your continued adherence to these guidelines will enable the Town to keep its outdoor spaces available for your enjoyment.
After handling Monday evening’s snowfall, the Highway Department has resumed road maintenance including removing lawn bags and winter debris. To maintain social distancing, the Highway Department has only one-third of its employees working at any time. As a result, this clean-up work will take longer. The Highway Department appreciates your forbearance in not contacting it about pick up times. It is doing its best under the circumstance, and you can help by keeping stormwater drains free of debris.
The Transfer Station remains open for its regular hours, with employees following mandatory health guidelines which may require wearing masks and gloves for your and their protection. Because it can be conducted in accordance with heath guidelines, the Town plans to proceed with the Household Hazardous Waste Day scheduled for Saturday, April 11th. Please remember that this service requires the physical presence of NYS DEC certified contractors. Your best source for updates is the Transfer Station’s webpage.
Thank you again for staying safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber