Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fortieth Update

Sunday, April 19, 2020
Dear Guilderland residents:
 
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 651 confirmed cases with 32 persons now hospitalized and seven persons in the intensive care unit (ICU).  Two persons passed away yesterday which brings the County’s death toll from COVID-19 to 22. There are now 797 persons under mandatory quarantine and 38 persons in precautionary quarantine. The County noted that 1,555 people have completed quarantine, including 323 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.
 
At his press conference this morning, Governor Cuomo said that the State’s daily death toll had fallen to its lowest level in two weeks and that the rate of hospitalizations and persons on ventilators has markedly declined.  The Governor stated that: “If the data holds and if this trend holds, we are past the high point, and all indications at this point are that we are on a descent.” The Governor concluded that continued progress depends on our diligent adherence to physical separation and wearing of face masks in public places if unable to maintain a minimum six-foot separation.
 
The Guilderland Farmer’s Market is now open online with orders that can be picked up starting next Sunday, April 26th:  https://www.guilderlandfarmersmarket.com/online-market.  As of today, a growing number of vendors are offering maple syrup, duck and chicken eggs, various cuts of beef, duck, chicken, pork, and sausage, smoked meats, jambalaya, marinara and tomato sauce, arts and craft, and much more.  Your online order can be picked at the Star Plaza parking lot at the corner of Western Avenue and State Route 155. You wait in your vehicle for delivery.  
 
The Guilderland Food Pantry needs your help in its ongoing efforts against food insecurity in our community.  The severe economic downturn has greatly increased demands for food support. The Pantry is seeking volunteers (https://guilderlandfoodpantry.com/) and accepts monetary donations online at: https://guilderlandfoodpantry.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving.   Please try to help if you can.
 
In yesterday’s email update, I noted the apparent ambiguity in Friday’s directive, which followed a week old directive barring the opening of golf courses, which might now allow courses to open under strict health guidelines.  I had noted that the Town was waiting for clarification before opening Western Turnpike Golf Course. Well, that did not take long, and in this Upside Down world, even State directives can abruptly change with no notice. Within an hour, a State spokeswoman issued a “clarification” that golf courses can open under COVID-19 guidelines.  According to the Albany Times-Union, the spokeswoman even said that under the State’s directive, “If it’s a public golf course, they can do what they want (as far as opening).”  Who knew that it was so simple?
 
With this clarification, Western Turnpike Golf Course is making plans to open.  Please check the course’s website (https://www.westernturnpike.com/) for the latest update on when the course will open and under what conditions golf can be played.   
 
In case you missed it during the frenzy over golf, yesterday the State granted a reprieve to marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers from the dreaded “However” prohibitions, and now too can open for personal use “as long as strict social distancing and sanitizations protocols are followed.”  Here’s the link for more information: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-governor-murphy-governor-lamont-announce.   
 
And before you make firm plans for golfing or boating, please remember that an Executive Order, guidance, and now, especially, a “clarification” can appear without notice.  
 
Thank you for staying safe and calm.
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor