Melissa Hale-Spencer

In two new executive orders on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo froze salaries for statewide elected officials and commissioners and he extended the state’s moratorium on evictions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the questions the state is trying to answer are: “Can you do it? Can you use testing to reopen a business safely? And can you do it on a large scale, which would be the Bills?”

“We want to send a clear signal to the providers that if you violate the law on these vaccinations, we will find out and you will be prosecuted,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Based on Sunday’s test results, the Capital Region’s infection rate is 8.48 percent. Of the state’s 10 regions, only two areas are higher.

The school district continues to plan for the eventuality that the area will be declared a micro-cluster zone, which requires random COVID-19 testing of students and staff for the schools to remain open. So far, about 75 percent of Guilderland respondents have agreed to be tested.

A man in his fifties and a woman in her eighties were the latest to succumb to the virus. This brings Albany County’s COVID-19 death toll to 206.

The state is now focusing on hospital capacity rather than just COVID-19 infection rates, which were initially used to define micro-cluster zones. Of New York’s 10 regions, the Capital Region currently has the lowest percentage of hospital beds — 24 percent —  and intensive-care-unit beds — 18 percent — available.

“Stay home to protect yourself. Stay home to protect your family. Stay home to protect the community,” said Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen on Christmas Eve. “Every single one of us has individual responsibility.”

Daniel McCoy

As COVID-19 cases surge, regional hospitals, which are in daily contact, agreed on Monday to reduce non-urgent surgeries that require a hospital stay.

“Furloughs were not cost effective even in the future for the library,” Guilderland library trustee Barbara Fraterrigo said she learned. This is because staff put on furlough would be eligible for unemployment and, since the library is self-insured, “You reimburse the state for those funds anyway,” she said.

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