Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sixty-Ninth Update

Monday, May 18, 2020
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 1,478 confirmed cases, an increase of 23 persons in the past 24 hours.  There are now 29 persons hospitalized and five persons in the intensive care unit. There was one death overnight which raised the County’s death toll to 69.  There are now 827 persons under mandatory quarantine and six persons in precautionary quarantine.  The County noted that 3,885 people have completed quarantine, including 995 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.  
 
At a conference call this morning with municipal leaders, County Executive McCoy confirmed that the first phase of the Capital Region’s reopening would start tomorrow or Wednesday, with the only remaining issue of providing State DOH with the names and contact information for the required number of tracers.  The County is asking municipalities to request that employees who are staying at home to become tracers, which requires a four-hour online training course with tracing work performed from home.  
 
The State has a webpage for residents to learn more about the State’s contact tracing program:  https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help.  The County has link where residents can apply online: https://careers-pcgus.icims.com/jobs/5244/contact-tracer/job?mobile=true&width=375&height=553&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=-300&jun1offset=-240.
 
In his daily press briefing, the Governor again shared positive updates on curbing the spread of COVID-19, with continued declines in new admissions, hospitalizations, intubations, and deaths.   He confirmed that the Capital Region would soon meet the remaining metric of required tracers for phase one reopening in the near future.  The first phase (https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase) includes construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and curbside service by the following types of retail businesses:
  • Clothing Stores
  • Direct Selling Establishments
  • Electronics and Appliance Stores
  • Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses
  • Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores
  • Florists
  • General Merchandise Stores
  • Health and Personal Care Stores
  • Jewelry, Luggage, and Leather Goods Stores
  • Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores
  • Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores
  • Used Merchandise Stores
  • Shoe Stores
  • Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument and Book Stores
  • Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers
The Governor also urged sports teams to start planning for holding games with no persons in attendance.  
 
The Governor stated that the State’s capacity for diagnostic testing had reached 40,000 tests per day, and encouraged eligible New Yorkers to visit a new website to find nearby testing sites: coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing.  The criteria for diagnostic testing were expanded to include residents who are returning to work in phase one of the State's reopening plan.  During Sunday’s press conference, the Governor showed how easy it is to be tested by subjecting himself to a live test:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk_4CxBaITU&feature=youtu.be.
 
Last Friday, the Assessor posted the Town’s 2020 Tentative Assessment Roll on the Assessor’s webpage: https://www.townofguilderland.org/assessors-office.  It is a massive document, totaling 3,178 pages, which uses the State-mandated taxable status date of March 1st, and, because of last year’s revaluation, maintains a uniform percentage and equalization rate of 100%.  The second number could help Town residents with property tax bills by school districts, fire districts etc. whose boundaries extend into other towns.  
 
As you may recall, the Governor’s Executive Order allowed extended dates for steps in the grievance process and will require changes, to be announced, on how proceedings are conducted by the Board of Assessment Review (BAR).  If you have questions about the grievance process, the Assessor’s Office can be reached by email at assessors@togny.org or phone at (518) 356-1980, on weekdays between 10am and 2pm until June 17th, and on evenings and weekends listed on the webpage.  The grievance forms, which are available on the Assessor’s webpage, require an owner’s original signature and may be submitted via email, fax or mail.  The signed grievance form must be received by the BAR prior to 8:00pm on Thursday, June 18th.  The BAR will hear cases by appointment only on June 18th from 8:30am to 1:00pm and 5:30pm to 8:00pm under soon-to-be announced COVID-19-related procedures.  
 
Thank you for continuing to stay safe and calm.
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor