Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 1,224 confirmed cases, and that there are now 32 persons hospitalized and seven persons in the intensive care unit. There were two deaths yesterday which brought the County’s death toll to 49. There are now 1,091 persons under mandatory quarantine and 10 persons in precautionary quarantine. The County noted that 2,601 people have completed quarantine, including 621 persons who had tested positive and have recovered. The County’s dashboard on COVID-19 statistics show how these numbers have changed since March 11th: https://legacy.livestories.com/s/v2/covid-19-dashboard-albany-county-ny/dabd57f3-5285-4666-97fc-53c5bf4b8560/. The dashboard is updated each night and does not reflect the numbers announced at the daily briefing.
In today’s press briefing, Governor Cuomo noted more positive data, including the numbers of hospitalizations, intubations, and new COVID-19 cases, but expressed concern about the State’s death toll. He urged caution in announcing a four-phase regional reopening, starting with first phase on May 15th:
- Phase 1 manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, construction, and select retail- curbside pickup
- Phase 2 retail, administrative support, professional services, finance and insurance, and real estate/rental leasing
- Phase 3 restaurants/food service, and hotels/accommodations
- Phase 4 educations, and arts/entertainment/ recreation
Before entering each two-week phase, each of the State’s 10 regions must satisfy seven conditions (https://www.governor.ny.gov/new-york-forward/phased-plan-re-open-new-york#regional-requirements-for-phased-reopening). As of today, the Governor said that no region satisfies all seven conditions. The Capital Region meets five of the seven conditions, but not testing and tracing capabilities. The Governor warned that each phase would be carefully monitored on a regional basis upon four metrics to gauge changes in the rate of infection. He concluded that enacting further steps for the phased reopening will require “substantive” work.
Against this backdrop and mindful of health guidelines, the Town is continuing with its preparations for the “reimagined” reopening of Town facilities, including a detailed plan, based upon the State’s following principles for businesses, including local governments:
Workplace: Redesign workplaces to include social distancing measures (i.e., desks six feet apart, modify conference rooms), implement telecommuting for the most vulnerable.
Customer interaction: Implement measures to maintain social distancing and ensure minimal contact with customers. Provide public-interacting employees with necessary protective supplies such as gloves, masks, etc. Special precautions should be taken for businesses that primarily interact with the most vulnerable populations.
Proactive infection plan: Ensure protocols are in place should an employee develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive (i.e. work from home plan).
The Town has begun “reimaging” government in various ways including creating new online forms with direct submission in the Town Clerk’s office, and, with the ban on large gatherings, adding public participation in scheduled board meetings by calling a dedicated phone number. We will soon announce other creative solutions for delivering services to our community.
Thank you for staying safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber