Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that, on a cumulative basis in the County, there are 1,619 confirmed cases, an increase of 41 persons in the past 24 hours. There are now 27 persons hospitalized and one person in the intensive care unit. There were no deaths overnight, but there were three deaths that were reported to State DOH but not to the County. As a result, the County’s death toll is now 76. There are now 907 persons under mandatory quarantine and three persons in precautionary quarantine. The County noted that 4,101 people have completed quarantine, including 1,064 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.
In his daily press briefing, the Governor announced positive updates in controlling the spread of COVID-19, with continued declines in new admissions, hospitalizations, intubations, and deaths. The Governor unveiled a new $100 million small business loan program, called New York Forward Loan Fund, to address the financial devastation caused by State-ordered closures of non-essential businesses. He said that the program will provide affordable and flexible loans to businesses with fewer than 20 full-time equivalent employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues, nonprofits and small landlords that have seen a loss of rental income. The program is timed to support businesses and organizations as they reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with inventory, marketing, and refitting for new physical distancing guidelines. Here’s the link to the program’s webpage: https://esd.ny.gov/economic-recovery-covid-19-loans-small-businesses.
After several days of the Phase 1 reopening, there have been no problems in Town with businesses complying with physical separation, face masks, and other requirements imposed by the State. Only a handful of reminders have taken place. The same is true for private gatherings in homes and in backyards. Please remember that gatherings of more than 10 persons are not allowed, and we should all be keeping six-foot separations and donning masks when that separation is not possible. With superb weather predicted, and more reasons to be outside, I’d recommend having a face mask with you for those increasingly likely interactions with neighbors and friends.
The Guilderland Farmers’ Market’s online market has continued to grow, and now includes 20 vendors offering a wide variety of food, crafts, and special gifts for pickup at the Star Plaza parking lot. Your purchases help support local farmers, artisans, and their families. Here’s the link: https://www.guilderlandfarmersmarket.com/online-market. A sampling of available items includes fresh honey, smoked chicken, grilled salmon, natural soaps, maple products, tie dyed face masks, candles, and much more. You now have until 11pm on Friday (that’s today, if you’re like me, and these days are indistinguishable) for a pick-up on Sunday between Noon and 1:30pm. For pick-up, you stay in your vehicle as your prepaid order is delivered to your vehicle. More details about the vendors, ordering and pickup are on the website.
As its first in-person public event at Town Hall in nearly three months, on Monday, June 15th from Noon to 6pm, the Town is hosting a blood drive, sponsored by the American Red Cross and Stewart's Shops, in the Town Board meeting room at Town Hall. The event is by appointment only, and there will be a marked side door for entry to the building. At this “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” event, each blood donor will receive a voucher for a prepackaged pint of ice cream or gelato at any Stewart's Shop. To make an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive and use the sponsor code: guilderlandtown. You can expedite the donating process by visiting https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/manage-my-donations/rapidpass.html to complete a Rapid Pass which provides pre-donation reading and health history questions.
Since the outset of this pandemic, Parks staff has kept open and maintained all of the Town’s parks, open spaces, and trail system. Tennis courts, ball fields, basketball courts, volleyball court, and golf course have remained open for use by following physical separation and face mask wearing guidelines. I thank residents for adhering to these health guidelines and for your continued diligence during the holiday weekend.
On this Memorial Day weekend, please take time to remember the uniformed women and men who have served our nation and community in the past and are continuing to do so today. Throughout this crisis, I have relied upon the professional advice by our Medical Director, Police Chief, and EMS Director, and have seen the immeasurable benefits to our Town by having well-trained and peer-respected dispatchers, police officers, firefighters, medics, and EMTs who are dedicated to serving and protecting our community.
Thank you for continuing to stay safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber