Dear Guilderland residents:
In his update today, Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy reported that, on a cumulative basis, there have been 1,888 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the County, an increase of eight persons since yesterday. The five-day average for new daily positive cases remains at 4.8. There are currently 35 active cases of COVID-19 in the County. There are now three persons hospitalized, a decrease of one person since yesterday, and there is no person in the intensive care unit. The County had no COVID-19 related death overnight which kept the death toll at 121. There are now 179 persons in mandatory quarantine and no person currently in precautionary quarantine. The County noted that 5,686 people have completed quarantine, including 1,853 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.
State DOH reported that there were 61,723 tests yesterday in the State with 807 positive cases or about 1.3% of those tested. The State’s seven-day rolling average is 1.0%. The Capital Region had 2,730 tests yesterday with 24 positives or about 0.9%, and a seven-day rolling average of 1.0%: https://forward.ny.gov/percentage-positive-results-region-dashboard In Albany County, the positive percentage had declined to 0.9% (8 positives out of 630 tests), with a seven-day rolling average of 1.0%: https://legacy.livestories.com/s/v2/covid-19-dashboard-albany-county-ny/dabd57f3-5285-4666-97fc-53c5bf4b8560/
There is a continuing confusion and angst over the State’s decision to not allow the reopening of malls, theaters, and gyms in Phase 4. The Governor reiterated that the State’s concern was air conditioning in malls:
Our Department of Health is trying to determine if there is any filtration system for an air conditioning system that can successfully remove the virus from air circulation. Is there a filter that can be added to an air conditioning system that we know will filter out the virus. The issue they're looking at is, are these air conditioning systems recirculating the virus, and you're not getting a high percentage about the air, the air conditioning system is recirculating and could be recirculating the virus. So that's the issue that we're exploring on that, and if anybody knows of a filter that successfully filters out the coronavirus, that we can add to an air conditioning system, that would be very helpful.
The frustration of small businesses in malls is based, in part, upon the State’s lack of explanation on why there were no similar concerns about air-conditioning in large anchor stores, museums, office buildings and other establishments.
Last night, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.45 which contains a wide-variety of significant provisions, many of which will require more time to decipher. Among the highlights are:
- Allowing gatherings of 50 or fewer individuals for any lawful purpose or reason, so long as any such gatherings occurring indoors do not exceed 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular indoor area, and provided that the location of the gathering is in a region that has reached Phase 4 and that social distancing, face covering, and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health are adhered to.
- Continuing Executive Order 202.34 which provides that all schools shall remain closed to in-person instruction except for the purpose of provision of special education services.
- Confirming that, as of June 26th, the regions meeting the metrics required for Phase 4 reopening are the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, and the North Country.
- Authorizing general hospitals to perform elective surgeries and procedures so long as the established criteria are met.
- Adding “Professional Sports without fans” as a fifth business allowed in Phase 4.
Another directive in this Order could take time to understand because it seemingly extends, without date, restrictions on public or private businesses that are contained in 14 other Executive Orders. Here’s what it states:
Executive Order 202.41, which extended the provisions of Executive Orders 202.3, 202.4, 202.5, 202.6, 202.7, 202.8, 202.10, 202.11, 202.13, 202.14, 202.28, 202.31, 202.34, and 202.35 which each closed or otherwise restricted public or private businesses or places of public accommodation, is hereby continued until and unless later amended or extended by a future Executive Order
Because these open-ended extensions of restrictions apply to the Town, I have a good idea of what I’ll be soon reading.
Thank you for staying safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber