Coronavirus (COVID-19) One-Hundred & Eleventh Update

Monday, June 29, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
The Albany County Department of Health reported today that, on a cumulative basis, there have been 1,893 positive COVID-19 cases in the County, an increase of three persons since yesterday. The five-day average for new daily positive cases is now 5.4 and there are currently 31 active cases of COVID-19.  There are now four persons hospitalized and no person in the intensive care unit.  The County’s death toll remains at 121.  There are now 176 people under quarantine with 25.6% being health care workers.  The State’s tracking system no longer distinguishes between mandatory and precautionary quarantine.  So far, 5,724 individuals have completed quarantine, with 1,862 of them having tested positive and recovered.  For more than a week, the highest number of positive cases, now 336, has been persons in their 20s.    
State DOH reported that there were 61,723 diagnostic tests yesterday in the State with 807 positives or about 1.3% of those tested.  The State’s seven-day average remained at 1.0%.  The Capital Region had 2,700 tests with 18 positives or about 0.7%, and a seven-day rolling average decrease to 0.7%: 
In Albany County, the positive percentage was 0.8% (6 positives out of 762 tests), with the seven-day rolling average at 1.0%:  Since the pandemic’s start, the County has tested 47,301 persons, with 2,097 positives or a 4.4% positive rate. 
At his press conference today, the Governor reported the State’s lowest death tallies of five persons on Saturday and eight on Sunday, and hospitalizations below 1,000 for more than several days.  He contrasted the State’s success with declining infection rate with the increased rates of infection and hospitalizations in 32 states.  He said that Western New York would enter Phase 4 on Friday.  The Governor cautioned that there were complications for New York City’s moving to Phase 3 on Monday, including the lack of compliance with physical distancing and large congregations, and the spread of COVID-19 by travelers from other states. 
The Governor added that the State was looking at the risks of indoor dining in other states, likely caused by air conditioning systems, and that outdoor dining was showing no problems.  The Governor anticipated a decision by Wednesday on New York City’s move to Phase 3 and guidance on indoor dining.  He urged the Federal government to mandate the wearing of masks as a proven means of preventing the spread of the virus.
The Governor also announced that “large malls” would be required to install air filters with Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating that are proven capable of filtering COVID-19 particulates.  He added that high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters remove particulates as small as .01 microns far less than the 0.1 microns for COVID-19 particulates.  The Governor did not mention a time table for reopening malls.  He said that the State would recommend that businesses and offices install similarly appropriate MERV-rated HEPA air filters.  The Governor made no mention of the reopening of theaters and gyms.
As the region reopens, Community Caregivers is again accepting referrals for new clients and is resuming transportation services for medical appointments under strict health guidelines.  For now, transportation for groceries is not offered with volunteers making grocery trips and prescription pickups.  Please call (518) 456-2898 or email [email protected] for more information.   Community Caregivers also has a lunchtime chat every Tuesday and Friday from 1pm to 2pm, including on Tuesday, June 23rd, a talk about the origins of the Altamont Fair and on Friday, June 26th, a Navy veteran’s talk about the USS Slater.  You can join by calling (518) 992-661 or, if you’d prefer to being called for a chat, call the office number above. 
A quick reminder that the deadline for filing both Federal and State tax returns for 2019 is Wednesday, July 15th.
Thank you for continuing to stay safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor