Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fifty-Ninth Update

Friday, May 8, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
 
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 1,309 confirmed cases, and that there are now 29 persons hospitalized and six persons in the intensive care unit.  There were two deaths yesterday which brought the County’s death toll to 58.  There are now 1,009 persons under mandatory quarantine and 15 persons in precautionary quarantine.  The County noted that 2,979 people have completed quarantine, including 768 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.  The County’s dashboard is  updated each night and does not reflect the numbers shared at the County’s daily briefing:  https://legacy.livestories.com/s/v2/covid-19-dashboard-albany-county-ny/dabd57f3-5285-4666-97fc-53c5bf4b8560/.   
 
In his daily update, the Governor reviewed State data, including hospitalizations and deaths, which showed a continuing decline, but not as rapidly as their ascent.  It remains uncertain whether this gradual decline is long-term, might flatten, or accelerate.  The Governor also raised concerns about a second wave and the lack of complete understandings about immunity from antibodies, the cause of COVID-19 related severe illnesses in children, and greater impact upon minority communities.   
 
This eighth week of hibernation continues to cause stress and anguish in our community. The American Red Cross has just launched a virtual Family Assistance Center which provides referrals for families that have lost loved ones.  The Center links families with crisis counselors who can provide confidential help with legal and other processes resulting from the loss.  Here’s the link: https://www.redcross.org/local/new-york/eastern-new-york/about-us/news-and-events/news/virtual-family-assistance-center.html.
 
Due to COVID-19 precautions, Community Caregivers has suspended in-person services including transportation and home visits.  Volunteers are available weekdays at (518) 456-2898 from 9am to 4pm for support and assistance during this difficult time. 
 
If you are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, the County COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line is available every day from 8am to 8pm at (518) 269-6634.  If you are experiencing or are aware of a psychiatric emergency, please immediately call the County Mobile Crisis Team at (518) 549–6500.  The County also has a 24-hour sexual assault hotline number at (518) 447-7716.
 
In a small indication of a return to normalcy, early this morning, campers and recreational vehicles which were housing National Grid staff on site for more than a month at its operational center next to Town Hall were being trucked away. 
 
To end on positive notes, I’m very pleased to report that residents who pay with cash at the Transfer Station are depositing loose change in the jar for the Guilderland Food Pantry.  There have also been generous donations of nonperishable food and household items. Thank you for helping needy persons in our community. 
 
Town staff continue to work on creative measures to deliver services, including holding programs for seniors and provide transportation for medical appointments and groceries.  Parks & Recreation staff is working on a revised summer recreational program for children and opening the pool for certain uses. Nearly every possible step requires input and approval from State and County offices, and providing the safest environment for children, families, and employees.  That said, Town staff know how popular these programs and services have been in the past, and why they are even more important today, and working hard now on plans.  I can’t end without noting that I am writing these notes about opening an outdoor pool and summer program, while listening to a forecast for measurable snow overnight.   I am losing track of the mounting number of oddities in this Upside Down World.  
 
Thank you for staying safe and calm.
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor