Coronavirus (COVID-19) Seventy-First Update

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
 
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that, on a cumulative basis in the County, there are 1,552 confirmed cases, an increase of 71 persons in the past 24 hours.  There were two deaths overnight which raised the County’s death toll to 72.  The County estimates that 65% of the deaths have come from nursing homes.  There are now 27 persons hospitalized and one person in the intensive care unit.  There are now 847 persons under mandatory quarantine and five persons in precautionary quarantine.  The County noted that 3,943 people have completed quarantine, including 1,026 persons who had tested positive and have recovered. 
 
In his daily press briefing, the Governor announced positive updates in controlling the spread of COVID-19, with continued declines in new admissions, hospitalizations, intubations, and deaths.  He emphasized that healthcare workers, transit workers, medics and EMTs, and police officers have infection rates lower than the general public because of these professionals’ strict adherence to wearing masks. The Governor urged continued compliance with wearing facial masks and keeping six-foot separations as we start the phased resumption of more business activities.  
 
The Governor confirmed that today is the first day of the Capital Region’s phased reopening of the local economy, starting with select retail delivery, curbside, and in-store pick-up service, manufacturing, construction, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, and fishing.  Here’s the link: https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase.  
 
Each of these allowed Phase 1 categories has more expansive descriptions.  For example, delivery, curbside and in-store pick-up service is only for the following businesses: 
 
Clothing Stores, Direct Selling Establishments; Electronics and Appliance Stores; Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses; Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores; Florists; General Merchandise Stores; Health and Personal Care Stores; Jewelry, Luggage, and Leather Goods Stores; Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores; Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores; Used Merchandise Stores; Shoe Stores; Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument and Book Stores; and Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers
 
The Governor also outlined additional guidelines for retail businesses in Phase 1:  
 
Retail Business Owners - Curbside Pickup
 
  • Employee and purchaser in vehicle must wear a mask, gloves preferred
  • Hand sanitizer must be made available
 
Retail Business Owners - In-Store Pickup
 
  • Requires ordering ahead - pre-arranged orders
  • Social distancing required in store
  • No more than 50 percent of maximum occupancy
  • Patrons must wear masks
  • Store employees must wear masks, gloves preferred
  • Hand sanitizer must be made available
 
The Governor also added that religious gatherings with not more than 10 persons could resume on Thursday if participants maintain minimum six-foot separation and wear facial masks.
 
We are working on the Town’s resumption of business plan which should take effect at the expiration of the State of Emergency on June 13th. The plan will allow for limited public access to Town buildings and facilities under strict conditions, and a re-imagined summer recreation program.   
 
Since the pandemic’s start, Town functions have been limited to “essential” services which, with the change in weather, will allow the return to work of more Town employees on a regular basis.  For example, road maintenance has been an “essential” service but this year’s paving could only recently begin with the opening of the plants.   As a result, starting next week, the Highway Department will be at full staffing for the first time in more than two months.  Water & Sewer and Parks & Recreation are also returning to full staffing to handle maintenance and other important issues.  Senior Services will also resume transportation for groceries and medical appointments.
 
Thank you for continuing to stay safe and calm.
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor