Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fifty-Sixth Update

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
 
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 1,236 confirmed cases, and currently 33 persons hospitalized and eight persons in the intensive care unit.  There were two deaths overnight which brought the County’s death toll to 51.  There are now 1,107 persons under mandatory quarantine and four persons in precautionary quarantine.  The County noted that 2,722 people have completed quarantine, including 662 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.  
 
The County’s “dashboard,” which is updated each night and does not reflect the numbers announced at the daily briefing, shows 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/.   
 
In his daily briefing, the Governor reported that the State continued to have declines in hospitalizations, intubations, and new COVID-19 cases, but that the number of deaths slightly increased.  He again emphasized that the pandemic exposed the need for “re-imagining” how government and business operate including enhancing use of technology and remote learning to reduce physical contacts.  The Governor again urged that residents must follow all health requirements including, as weather improves, a ban on gatherings, minimum six-foot physical separation, and wearing a face mask where the required separation is not possible.    
 
The Governor noted that each of the State’s 10 regions must satisfy seven specific metrics before businesses could reopen: 
 
  • A 14-day decline in hospitalizations or fewer than 15 new hospitalizations (3-day average) 
  • A 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths a day (3-day average)
  • New hospitalizations (under 2 per 100,000 residents – 3-day average)  
  • Share of total beds available (threshold of 30 percent) 
  • Share of ICU beds available (threshold of 30 percent)
  • Thirty residents per 1,000 residents tested monthly
  • At least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents
As of today, no region passed every metric.  The Capital Region passed four metrics, but failed the metrics for testing and tracer capacity, and in hopefully a temporary change from yesterday, the rate and number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.  The State’s table shows a region’s status: https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/new-york-forward.
 
Assemblymembers Patricia Fahy and John McDonald, and invited chamber of commerce guests are holding a virtual town hall on Thursday, May 7th from 11am to Noon regarding “A Roadmap to Reopening:  Looking Towards Your Businesses’ Next Steps” which will discuss the reopening of the local economy and the State’s long-term economic situation.  The event is available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/1308150236046078/) or on Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85895009187).
 
Today is Cinco de Mayo, and as seen in the expanding online directory of Guilderland restaurants, you have a wide choice of ethnic restaurants, including Mexican, that are open for takeout and delivery:  https://issuu.com/our_towne/docs/guilderland_take-out_guide.  Please continue to support local restaurants during these extremely difficult economic times.   
 
Today is also #GivingTuesdayNow, a day, usually held in December, to encourage giving in response to the unprecedented needs in our community caused by COVID-19.  Among the suggestions are donating to charitable organizations including the Guilderland Food Pantry (https://guilderlandfoodpantry.com/donate/) and Community Caregivers (https://www.communitycaregivers.org/), and supporting our local businesses by ordering gift cards for future use, placing delivery, takeout, and soon curbside pickup of orders (https://www.guilderlandchamber.com/guilderland-small-business-hub/).  
 
Today is Teacher Appreciation Day and tomorrow is National School Nurse Day.  These are very difficult times for professionals who have dedicated their careers to educating our children.  Upon behalf of our community, I thank these women and men for continuing to provide the best remote education experience possible under these demanding circumstances.  As Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers) said, “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” 
 
Thank you for staying safe and calm. 
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor