Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fifty-Seventh

Update Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents: 
 
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 1,252 confirmed cases, and that there are now 32 persons hospitalized and eight persons in the intensive care unit. There were two deaths yesterday which brought the County’s death toll to 53. There are now 1,093 persons under mandatory quarantine and eight persons in precautionary quarantine. The County noted that 2,862 people have completed quarantine, including 664 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. 
 
County Executive Daniel P. McCoy stated that the County was close to meeting the Governor’s seven metrics for reopening and would, by Monday, submit a reopening plan for the Capital Region to the Governor. It was unclear how the other seven counties in the Capital Region were addressing these metrics. As of today, the Capital Region did not pass four of the seven metrics, including testing capacity, contact tracer capacity, and number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Here’s the table for each region’s status: https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/new-york- forward
 
In today’s press briefing, the Governor again noted that the number of hospitalizations, intubations, and new COVID-19 admissions was continuing to decline in the State and that the same numbers were rising in the rest of the country. He also reported that a survey of hospitals showed that only 17% of COVID-19 patients were working, and that, to his surprise, most of the patients were retired or unemployed. There had been an assumption that a higher percentage of essential employees would have been exposed because they were going to work. Other survey data included that 96% of patients had other underlying health conditions, 46% were unemployed, and 37% were retired. The Governor noted that the data “says they’re not working, they’re not traveling, they’re predominantly downstate, predominantly minority, predominantly older.” 
 
Not surprisingly, Western Turnpike Golf Course had a fantastic weekend which carried over into this week despite the unseasonable cold temperatures. Every tee time was booked on Sunday from 8:00am until 5:30pm, and business has since been brisk. Despite last week’s heavy rain and wet ground conditions, there were no complaints and, of course, having temperatures, albeit briefly, in the 70s contributed to very pleasant outings. Golfers also appreciated “to go” lunches offered by The Nines at Western Turnpike and also offered dinners for four persons. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/theninesatwesternturnpike/
 
Town parks, open space, and trails, despite often soggy conditions, continue to see heavy usage and, while there are no official tallies, no one can recall seeing more people in the parks on Sunday playing Frisbee and tennis, walking, picnicking, and having an enjoyable time. There were occasional reminders about physical separation, but there were no serious issues. And while there has been a ban on gatherings under Executive Orders, the Town police have not been required to take any action other than a timely and gentle reminder. 
 
Let’s admit that if we were not distracted by a historic pandemic, we’d be talking about our bizarre weather in this Upside Down World. The record setting average temperatures in March were followed by one of the dreariest Aprils, and now there is actually snow (okay, only an inch or two, but that’s still crazy) in the forecast for Mother’s Day weekend. 
 
Thank you for staying safe and calm. 
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor