Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fifty-First Update

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
 
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 1,120 confirmed cases, and that there are now 34 persons hospitalized and 10 persons in the intensive care unit.  There were two deaths overnight bringing the County’s death toll to 41. There are now 907 persons under mandatory quarantine and 22 persons in precautionary quarantine.  The County noted that 2,286 people have completed quarantine, including 562 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.   The County’s “dashboard” has more demographical statistics about the spread of the virus and testing: https://legacy.livestories.com/s/v2/covid-19-dashboard-albany-county-ny/dabd57f3-5285-4666-97fc-53c5bf4b8560/.
 
The County DOH reports that about 20 percent of the County’s confirmed cases are at senior care facilities which are closed to the public.  In Guilderland, the County reported that Our Lady of Mercy Life Center has 44 residents and 13 employees with confirmed cases, and The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing has 22 residents and four employees with confirmed cases.  The numbers of confirmed cases are cumulative since the start of the pandemic.  The County DOH does not provide other COVID-19 data about senior care facilities.    
 
The County’s “dashboard” also shows that adults between 20 to 29 years of age have more confirmed cases than any other age group except adults aged 50 to 59.  As of today, there were 190 confirmed cases for persons in their 20’s, nearly as many as the 210 confirmed cases for persons in their 50’s.  And while no person in that younger age group has died in the County and only three people under the age of 50 have been hospitalized, this data shows that the virus can be present in younger adults who were not hospitalized or were even asymptomatic.  
 
At his daily press briefing, the Governor announced that the State’s data regarding hospitalizations, intubations, and new admissions continued to decline, and that the death toll, while tragically high, was also lower.  He reiterated his 12 benchmarks for the State’s regional reopening, and stated that further details about the planned phased reopening would soon be announced.  The Governor emphasized that any reopening would be carefully monitored, including an “army of contact tracers” of between 6,400 to 17,000 contact tracers depending on spread of the virus, who will trace the contacts of confirmed cases and help determine the infection rate.  
 
The Governor stated that tomorrow he would announce whether schools would remain closed past May 15th.  The State Education Department announced a task force with the long-awaited assignment of determining “how we can successfully and appropriately reopen our schools.”   The Education Department will work with State DOH on recommendations for the Governor’s recently created New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board.   
 
As our weather improves (it has to, doesn’t it?), and more people again resume enjoying the outdoors (a ratio of 1 good day for 3 bad days seems particularly unfair), it is very important to follow all health guidelines including a minimum six-foot separation and donning a face mask when that physical separation is not possible.  It is strongly encouraged for everyone to be prepared and have a face mask ready for unanticipated social interactions.  Please also be mindful, while driving, that physical distancing can cause walkers and bicyclists to occupy more of a road.  
 
This is the final call, for now, if you need washable cotton face masks (five masks per sealed package).  The supply has been greatly diminished over the past 48 hours.  Before driving to the Police Department’s lobby at Town Hall, please confirm availability by calling (518) 356-1980 ext. 1038 or emailing police@togny.org.
 
Thank you for staying safe and calm.
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor