Coronavirus (COVID-19) Nineteenth Update

Sunday, March 29, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
 
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are now 187 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the County, with 15 persons hospitalized and seven persons in intensive care units.  The County DOH announced the first COVID-19 related death in the County of an elderly man with underlying medical issues. There are now 505 persons under mandatory quarantine and 233 persons in precautionary quarantine.  
 
Because of the continuing lack of adequate testing kits, these numbers should not be viewed as evidence of the slowing spread of COVID-19.  Regardless of the trend, our community benefits by a continuing strict adherence to basic hygiene rules of physical separation (minimum of six feet), regular hand washing with soap for 20 seconds, and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve.           
 
While some communities have closed or restricted access to parks, your Town’s parks, open space and trails are fully open.  There is no evidence of a lack of physical separation among park patrons who are maintaining required distances with polite smiles, waves, and nods.   Our community’s unabated adherence to health guidelines will allow the unfettered access to public outdoor spaces to continue.
 
NYS Parks is encouraging residents to follow health guidelines, and get outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bike, or visit a State park or lands, to stay active, spend time with immediate family members, and reduce stress and anxiety.  NYS Parks is promoting #recreatelocal and asking residents to choose State parks that are close to home. Thacher State Park is open but the Indian Ladder Trail remains closed due to icy conditions. Before venturing out, call (518) 872-1237 or visit NYS Parks’ website (https://parks.ny.gov/parks/) for information about specific State parks.
 
I again thank you for staying calm and safe, and for your kind emails for the Town’s efforts to keep you informed and providing essential services in the midst of this health emergency.  The Town’s first responders answer every 911 and emergency call without hesitation.  For another week, the call volume has remained stable which has minimized our emergency responders, Police, Fire, and EMS, need for physical interactions. A recent Governor’s Order which extends expiring vehicle inspections and registrations will further lessen physical interactions.  Please remember that if you or are aware of an emergency involving persons or property, do not hesitate and immediately call 911.    
 
Thank you for your continuing support for the Guilderland Food Pantry in its ongoing efforts against food insecurity in our community.  The Pantry accepts monetary donations online at: https://guilderlandfoodpantry.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving.
    
Today’s gloomy weather encouraged us to renew things by visiting our Island of Misfit Small Kitchen Appliances.  The trip was productive (and way overdue) by giving revived life this morning to a waffle maker (actually, we found two; I remember purchasing neither), a future role for a Panini maker (heavily used years ago and for some reason abruptly cast off to the Island), and, for tonight, a dusted off gnocchi board (a well-intentioned purchase after a gifted local cooking class).  But a few items still wait on the Island including a bouillabaisse pan that I remember buying but I am not sure why we ever thought that we would make a fish stew that, in its traditional recipe, uses bony rockfish and other fish that are considered unsuitable for sale. Again, no need to write, I know that there are other recipes and that this stew is sold at astronomical prices to tourists in Marseille restaurants.  It may just have to wait a bit longer on the Island.      
 
Thank you again for staying safe and calm.    
 
Sincerely,
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor