Melissa Hale-Spencer

Patricia C. Bischof, as an adult, sat in a room in her mother’s house, crying, as she listened to the story of her mother’s life — a story she had never heard before.

Her mother, Ruth, was being filmed in the next room in an interview, which Bischof had set up, for the Shoah Foundation.

Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy on Friday reported two previously unreported COVID-related deaths — a man in his sixties, and a man in his seventies — bringing the county’s death toll from the virus to 533.

“My idea was, a lot of love and caring is going to go into this closet, and a lot of smiles and happiness is going to come out. That’s The Caring Closet,” said Amanda Beedle. 

While surges are growing in other places in the world, like New Zealand and Hong Kong, and remote Pacific Islands are just now experiencing their first deaths from the virus, the United States, for the most part, is now defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having “low” or “medium” transmission rates.

“The role of government is getting things done,” said Bethlehem Supervisor David VanLuven, crediting the town, county, state, and federal governments for working together to get the Power Plug project underway “from concept to concrete in five months.”

Lyricist Jerome Leiber and composer Michael Stoller together wrote over 70 chart hits. All of the songs in “Smokey Joe’s Café” were written by them, songs that became staples of the 1950s and ’60s.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance for state and local governments, saying, “Universal case investigation and contact tracing are not recommended for COVID-19.” Rather, health departments should “prioritize specific settings and groups at increased risk,” the CDC says.

“We are right now living through kind of the political and the intellectual collapse of something we thought was very natural and very normal,” says Ryan Irwin.

Some counties in New York State are designated as “high” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We will allow them the flexibility to determine what’s best for their county,” said Governor Kathy Hochul in terms of masking in schools. Albany County is “medium,” meaning no masks are required.

Guilderland Superintendent of Schools Marie Wiles noted that the two-year anniversary of the county’s first COVID-19 case — from Farnsworth Middle School — is upon us. It’s been “a rollercoaster for the last two years,” she said and echoed “the power of partnership” in getting through it.


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