Dear Guilderland residents:
In its daily update today, the Albany County Department of Health reported that there are now 199 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the County, with 15 persons hospitalized. There are now 559 persons under mandatory quarantine and 223 persons in precautionary quarantine.
There is still a lack of adequate testing kits which is limiting the use of kits to symptomatic hospitalized patients and first responders. The numbers provide no basis for determining the rate of spread of COVID-19 in our community. It cannot be overstated that we all benefit from following well-known health guidelines of minimum six feet of physical separation, regular hand washing with soap for 20 seconds, and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve.
In light of Sunday’s Executive Order which extends many of the Governor’s directives until April 15th, the Town has cancelled all board meetings through Wednesday, April 15th. Because of reduced staff, updating the Town’s online calendar and website may take longer.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the massive Federal stimulus package, has numerous provisions that may benefit residents and local businesses. This email and the Town’s website are not your best sources for information about whether this stimulus package might benefit you, your family, or business. That said, I would like to draw your attention to two provisions that should have wide application in our community.
First, the stimulus includes payment by check or direct deposit to eligible residents. Here’s an online tool for determining you and your family’s eligibility and calculating the benefit amount: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/business/coronavirus-stimulus-check-calculator/. Second, the legislation provides different forms of financial relief for local small businesses and employees such as expanded unemployment insurance, including self-employed persons, specialized grants, and government backed loans. A helpful informational brochure about these benefits is available on the Town website.
By now, your household should have received your 2020 Census questionnaire. If you have not received it, please call the Census Bureau at 1-844-330-2020 or visit 2020Census.gov. Because of public contact restrictions caused by COVID-19, the Census Bureau has delayed field operations, including visits to households, to April 15th. An accurate and complete count ensures that the Town has proper representation in Federal, State and County legislative bodies and receives its share of collected sales tax.
A couple of Town employees had no idea what I meant by yesterday’s reference to an unused bouillabaisse pan. When I emailed them a photo, one said you mean a wok and another thought it was a fancy punch bowl. Both are fine examples of American ingenuity by restoring life to one of the last orphans on the Island of Misfit Small Kitchen Appliances.
Thank you again for staying safe and calm.
Peter G. Barber