Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are 563 confirmed cases with 32 persons hospitalized and 8 adults in the intensive care unit (ICU). The death toll from COVID-19 remains at 20. There are now 668 persons under mandatory quarantine and 66 persons in precautionary quarantine.
County DOH stated that 1378 people, including 282 positive cases, had completed quarantine. The County also noted that the number of confirmed cases is cumulative since the start of the crisis, and that this number had increased because of added testing sites, but that there had not been an increase in the rate of hospitalizations. The County also stated that the number of people in precautionary quarantine continued to decline because successful physical separation measures had resulted in reduced contacts.
At his daily press conference today, Governor Cuomo announced that he will issue an Executive Order that will keep schools and non-essential businesses closed until Friday, May 15th. The Governor stated that the daily death toll in the State had fallen to the lowest level in 10 days, that the number of intubated patients fell for the fifth day out of the past six, that the number of patients in ICU continued to decline, and that the three-day average of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, considered among the best indicators of the virus’s spread, had declined for the second day in a row. Despite the favorable statistics, the Governor concluded that continued progress would be required before he considered lifting gathering restrictions.
As you may know, the Governor also issued Executive Order 202.17 about the required wearing of face coverings in public. To avoid confusion, here’s the directive: “Effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020 any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.” The face-coverings do not require medical grade masks and that you can use a scarf, bandanna, handkerchief, or other cloth mask. The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidelines on how to make, clean and properly wear a cloth covering: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
While the Town-owned Western Turnpike Golf Course remains closed under the Governor’s Executive Order, the course’s new Italian restaurant, The Nines at Western Turnpike, is open for takeout dinner orders on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays evenings (sorry, it may be too late for tonight). Please visit its website for menu options and directions on when and how to place, and pick-up your orders: https://www.facebook.com/115576026551157/posts/213478750094217/.
Even though the course is closed for playing golf, its cart paths are open for your enjoyment. I have received many compliments about the course’s beautiful setting and abundant wildlife. Today, course staff started repairing paths damaged by winter weather by milling and rolling damaged areas to provide a smooth surface, and have it readied for paving in a few weeks. Please remember to stay off the greens and fairways. The maintenance staff has removed or trimmed dead or damaged trees, improved the short game area, and added a new outdoor sitting area.
Today, the Highway Department completed, a day early, a Town-wide pick-up of leaf bags and tied brush bundles, and, with a one-half crew, expects to resume next week its regular pick-up schedule of bags on a weekly basis. Please remember that crews make these pick-ups year round. If weather permits and there are warmer temperatures, Highway employees will begin restoring lawns in the Town’s right of way which were damaged by snow plows. And, as evidenced by today’s snow, these guys know what they are doing, that April weather here is at best finicky, and it is often better to be patient and wait.
Thank you for staying safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber