Tuesday, March 24, 2020
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are now 136 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Albany County, with nine persons hospitalized. There are now 576 people under mandatory quarantine and 652 people under precautionary quarantine. The County DOH does not provide details on confirmed cases or quarantines for each municipality but the County Executive’s Office has advised that if there were new cases confirmed in a municipality, it would call and provide details. I am relieved to report that I have not received such a call in nearly two weeks.
With the cancellation of public blood drives due to health guidelines, the supply of blood is running low and there is severe shortage. Please play a role in our fight against COVID-19 by making appointments for blood donations at www.RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Today is Great American Takeout Day which has a heightened significance during this extremely difficult time for our local business community. Please consider helping our local restaurants that offer takeout and delivery and shop online at local businesses.
We will continue to adhere to the Governor’s Executive Orders which bar most gatherings and closes businesses except for listed “essential services.” We will share any new Executive Orders that may impact the performance of Town services and functions. As of today, all scheduled board meetings are cancelled through Monday, April 7th. The next scheduled meeting is the Town Board’s April 8th meeting which, if held, will be conducted with public participation by teleconference as required by the Governor’s Executive Order No. 202.1.
As noted in prior emails, hundreds of persons in our community have provided vital public services in our collective response to this health care emergency. Among those unsung heroes are persons, often seniors, who every day are delivering meals, food, and supplies to residents, and transporting seniors and disabled persons to important medical appointments. These extraordinary persons volunteer with Community Caregivers, Albany County’s Home Delivered Meals program, and other organizations, and have helped the Guilderland Central School District with the delivery of breakfast and lunch to families who currently receive free and reduced cost meals. On behalf of the Town and its residents, I thank these volunteers for their compassionate help and service to our community.
I also thank Highway Department employees who are adhering to health guidelines by having 1/3rd of the department working each week on necessary maintenance and repair of Town roads. To handle yesterday’s six inch snowfall, the Highway Department deployed all of its snowplows, but by removing the wings, the snowplow had only a driver and not the required wingman for heavier snow falls. With that adjustment, the employees kept extended hours of social distancing and got the job done.
A quick update that with yesterday’s tenth Executive Order and its 32 new directives, the Governor has issued about 153 directives. But don’t worry, the effort to enlist notaries in our collective response to this “disaster emergency” remains, with 16 lines, in first place as measured by a meaningless standard. A new directive, which provides important relief from maintaining medical records, came close, but fell short and lands tied for second place at 12 lines.
Please don’t waste your time double-checking my counting of lines. A more enjoyable antidote for these stressful times is counting the number of arriving robins and snowmen and snowwomen created by families.
Thank you again for remaining safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber