Melissa Hale-Spencer

As Albany County ends the 11th week since the first two cases of COVID-19 were announced on March 12, the county executive says, “We are starting to go in the right direction ….” Both statewide and in Albany County, the curve has flattened and the Capital Region has completed the first week of the reopening of Phase 1 businesses.

The stock market, which reopened Tuesday, is smarter than before, the governor says, as masks are worn and distances kept. Similarly, Albany County’s executive said local businesses that reopened last week area following protocols and there have been no new COVID-19 deaths in Albany County since Thursday.

During the pandemic, New York Army National Guard duties have ranged from 300 service members helping to retrieve bodies from homes in New York City to members in Albany County distributing food to those who need it and helping at testing sites.

In announcing a slew of reopenings planned for next week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his Sunday press briefing from Jones Beach on Long Island, “We have been talking about the light at the end of the tunnel and we are dealing with it today in the here and now but we also have one eye on the future and, when we finish getting through

Local Democratic Assembly members — Patricia Fahy representing the 109th District and John Mcdonald representing the 108th — say that, although the State Legislature is not in session, they are busy holding hearings, drafting bills, and meeting constituents’ needs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have been challenged to not only reinvent what we do for an online platform, but innovate at the same time,” said Timothy Wiles, director of the Guilderland Public Library. The library is proposing a $4 million budget, drafted before the coronavirus shutdown. Residents of the Guilderland Central School district will vote through mail-in ballots that must be returned by June 9.

Three COVID-19 deaths from early May of residents at a private nursing home were added to the county’s tally on Friday, bringing the death toll to 76.

“It’s gonna be up to the people,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, indicating business owners and workers as well as customers are responsible for seeing that protocols are followed as business begi reopening.

The county’s executive informed businesses how to proceed in filing state-required forms to reopen and the county’s health commissioner said testing for COVID-19 as well as continuing to follow mitigation strategies will be crucial in remaining open.

Faced with potentially drastic cuts in future state aid, the majority of candidates favored renegotiating contracts rather than cutting school programs in Guilderland.


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