Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sixty-Seventh Update

Saturday, May 16, 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 1,451 confirmed cases, and that there are now 30 persons hospitalized and seven persons in the intensive care unit (ICU).  There was one death overnight which raised the County’s death toll to 62.  There are now 852 persons under mandatory quarantine and six persons in precautionary quarantine.  The County noted that 3,727 people have completed quarantine, including 957 persons who had tested positive and have recovered.  
 
In his daily press briefing, the Governor emphasized that, as the State reopens, there will likely be an increase in COVID-19 cases but, with strict adherence to protocols, there should not be a spike or a reversal in the phased reopening.   He also noted the growing State deficit, and the immediate need for federal funding to avoid substantial cuts in State aid to schools, libraries, and local governments.  
 
As of today, the Capital Region fails to meet two of the seven metrics regarding hospitalizations and deaths.  Here’s the regional table: https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard.  The Governor said that State and County DOH were discussing how nursing homes, which have a large impact on these metrics, should be used in the calculations.  If nursing homes were not included, the Capital Region would meet the seven metrics and allow for the first phase reopening of construction, manufacturing, and curbside retail. 
 
If you would like to read more on how the Capital Region is doing with the metrics and learn more about the regional reopening process, the Capital District Regional Planning Commission has a very useful and regularly updated webpage: https://cdrpc.org/reopening-of-new-york-business-guidelines?mc_cid=4b4816cac0&mc_eid=e32f83fcaf.
 
As our weather warms, and more people are outdoors, the County DOH continues to express concern that young adults are not taking adequate precautions to avoid the spread of the virus.  The County’s dashboard showed that the 20-29 age group had the second highest number of COVID-19 cases.   Here’s the link: https://legacy.livestories.com/s/v2/covid-19-dashboard-albany-county-ny/dabd57f3-5285-4666-97fc-53c5bf4b8560/.  This data suggested that this younger age group was asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and was spreading the virus, and urged everyone to follow guidelines including regular hand washing, donning masks, staying at least six-feet apart, and staying home whenever possible. 
 
State DOH have asked that residents be aware of COVID-19 related cases which appear similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome and has afflicted nearly 110 children, with three tragic deaths of children.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has asked the State DOH to propose a plan for responding to this syndrome.  Here are the known symptoms:  
 
  • Prolonged fever (more than five days)
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Change in skin color - becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
  • Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Decreased amount or frequency in urine
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion
If you find one or more symptoms present in a child, you should immediately seek medical assistance.  
 
With Town facilities closed at least until June 13th because of the extension of the State of Emergency by both the State and the Town, your best way to contact Town departments is by phone, email or mail, as noted on the Town website. And while there, please sign up for Town emails and Nixle notices including daily updates about the Town’s response to COVD-19 and reopening plans at www.townofguilderland.org/subscribe
 
I had the opportunity again to watch Heather Weinhold, the Town’s Marriage Officer, perform another wedding ceremony in the Town Hall courtyard.   All COVID-19 related guidelines were followed.  This ceremony was different with everyone wearing white casual clothes because bridal and formal attire stores are closed.  This time, the sun was bright with no rain, and once again, everyone looked delighted.  It is good to see that this pandemic can’t stop among the most important and cherished government services.   
 
Peter G. Barber
Town Supervisor