Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are, on a cumulative basis, 864 confirmed cases with 34 persons now hospitalized and seven persons in the intensive care unit. The County’s death toll of 31 persons was unchanged. There are now 746 persons under mandatory quarantine and 42 persons in precautionary quarantine. The County noted that 1,960 people have completed quarantine, including 473 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.
At his press conference this morning, Governor Cuomo reported that the State’s death toll had slightly increased, and that other data, including the rate of hospitalizations, number of positive cases, and intubated patients continued to decline. The Governor observed that the data further indicated that the State was on the downside of the rate of infection curve. He anticipates making a decision this week on whether schools will open this school year. The Governor reminded that, as the weather improves, and more residents enjoy outside activities, it is important to continue keeping a minimum six-foot physical separation and wear face masks in public if unable to maintain this separation.
At yesterday’s conference, the Governor said that we should expect a “flurry” of Executive Orders this weekend as the State begins consideration of the plan to reopen regional economies. Last evening, the latest Executive Order 202.23 was issued which details the directive to the NYS Board of Election to mail a postage-paid absentee ballot application to every voter for the June 23rd primary election. Here’s the Order: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20223-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
I have received numerous thank you emails and calls for the community’s continuing efforts to support local businesses over the past seven weeks of this health and economic emergency. Among the resources is the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce’s small business hub which has updated details on businesses that are open and offer take-out and delivery, and businesses where you can shop online or buy a gift card: https://www.guilderlandchamber.com/guilderland-small-business-hub/. I have also heard great appreciation for the new Take-out Guide with information and active links for Guilderland restaurants that offer take-out and delivery: https://issuu.com/our_towne/docs/guilderland_take-out_guide. Please make sure to check both websites for regular updates. I thank you for your support of local businesses, most of which are owned and operated by residents.
After several weeks of not charging residents to minimize personal contacts, this past Tuesday, the Transfer Station resumed charging for household garbage and construction debris. As time passed, the crews were seeing an increasing amount of dumped material which was quickly becoming unmanageable. The Transfer Station is not a landfill. Instead, Town employees must transport this material to certified landfills and pay ever-increasing disposal charges. The staff was pleasantly surprised that many residents thanked the staff for keeping the facility open during the pandemic and appreciated the need for the Town to offset the financial impact. I also thank Transfer Station staff for their upbeat and friendly service for residents.
I am very pleased to report that the two EMS paramedics, who had tested positive for COVID-19, have returned to work under NYS DOH’s protocol for essential workers. I am also thankful that medics and EMTs have completed mandatory quarantine that was the result of contact tracing. During this difficult time, fellow medics and EMTs worked extra shifts so that the EMS could maintain a full deployment of ambulances and EMS fly cars.
Please continue to stay safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber