Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 915 confirmed cases. Because of more aggressive testing, the County expects that the number of confirmed cases will increase. There are now 37 persons hospitalized and seven persons in the intensive care unit (ICU). One person passed away yesterday which brings the County’s death toll from COVID-19 to 32. There are now 802 persons under mandatory quarantine and 32 persons in precautionary quarantine. The County noted that 2,027 people have completed quarantine, including 478 persons who had tested positive and have recovered. The County has a “dashboard” with 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/.
Behind each of these numbers are neighbors, friends, colleagues, and their families. I extend my sympathy and have offered the Town’s services and encourage others to provide physical and emotional support.
At his press conference, Governor Cuomo reported that the State’s death toll, rate of hospitalizations, number of positive cases, new COVID-19 cases, and intubated patients has declined. The Governor observed that the data supported the reopening of the State under strict guidelines. The Governor stated the State would follow CDC’s recommendation of a 14 day decline in State and regional hospitalizations in guiding the reopening of the State.
The Governor announced no change in the shutdown of schools and nonessential businesses until May 15th. After that date, the Governor stated that the reopening plan would be in phases, with a regional analysis and determination, and careful monitoring of the phased reopening. Phase 1 would involve construction and manufacturing activities with low risk followed by a two week monitoring of the infection rate (hospitalizations, and number of confirmed cases and persons with antibodies). Phase 2 would allow “more essential, lower risk” businesses to reopen based on an assessment of how essential the businesses were to the public and how much risk was involved in their reopening. The Governor stated that reopening of schools and expanding government functions could be part of Phase 2. The Governor stated that the reopening would be a “new normal” with limits on gathering size, space capacity, keeping minimum safe physical separation, possible face coverings, and other health requirements which will require creative measures based upon the business and activity.
Both the State and the County have noted a marked demand upon food pantries. That’s the situation here. The Guilderland Food Pantry continues to fight food insecurity in our community. I thank you for your donations and again ask for your support. Please consider making a donation at: https://guilderlandfoodpantry.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving.
I am sure that we all have examples of everyday oddities during this pandemic. In our home, it’s what we’re doing to stay in close contact and support our son, a reporter in San Francisco. Something seemed strange, yet necessary, in the items selected for our latest cross-country mailing. He was very happy to receive his mom’s delicious chocolate-chip cookies and his sister’s recommended readings, but what he most appreciated was a 2 pound bag of flour costing less than $2 (whose intact arrival was confirmed by a text photo). While seemingly insignificant, this little bag’s 3,000 mile cross-continental journey is emblematic of our Upside Down world and one which I hope we will soon be safely leaving. It is also a reminder that Post Office employees, who have served throughout this pandemic, are among the essential workers who deserve our support and thanks.
Thank you for staying safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber