Melissa Hale-Spencer

Likening the uproar in Albany Saturday night to “being in battle,” Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said, “I was as close as I felt to being in a war zone in downtown Albany — gunfire going, fireworks. It was pretty crazy. I said, ‘Man, I feel like I’m back in Iraq.’”

Going forward, after announcing 24 more deaths the county had been unaware of, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said on Saturday, “The nursing home is supposed to be reaching out to us …. This should never happen again.”

The new normal at Avanti Hair Studios in Guilderland will have stylists and customers in masks, staggered shifts, and vinyl curtains between workstations.

Experts reviewed New York State data before five regions got the green light to reopen Phase 2 businesses on Friday.

After the county closed its congregate-meal and adult day-care programs to stem the spread of the coronavirus, it turned to delivering meals to homebound seniors, which also served as a way to check on their welfare.

The county’s health commissioner said systems will be put in place so that the county is aware of deaths that nursing homes report to the state.

Guilderland Supervisor Peter Barber is expecting a 20-percent reduction in sales-tax revenues for the second quarter, which amounts to a loss of about half-of-a-million dollars. But, he said, the town, is “in fairly good shape” financially since it has “healthy reserves,” which he described as being “in the millions of dollars.” He has no immediate plans to lay off or furlough town workers.

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.


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