One of the state’s new initiatives is a pilot program — including Albany — to detect the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater, which is designed to set up an early indicator system to forecast the virus spread in communities. “Believe it or not, you can find the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater,” said the governor during a conference call with the press on Friday.

Evoke Style in Guilderland

Local shops are open for business, but they continue to feel the effects of the pandemic.

The announcement that New York would reopen schools came against a backdrop in which a research team at the University of Florida isolated live virus from aerosols collected at a distance of seven to 16 feet from patients hospitalized with COVID-19, which is further than the six feet recommended in social-distancing guidelines. Although not yet vetted by peer review, the findings have raised concern about school reopenings.

“While we cannot say this is a completely risk-free environment, we’re in a pretty good place,” said Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen of schools reopening in the county. “We’re probably in the best place possible.”

“The homeless tend to be very vulnerable to COVID and that’s because there’s a good percentage of them that are older and also have pre-existing conditions — diabetes, heart problems as well as issues with substance abuse and mental health and behavioral issues,” said Albany County Department of Social Services Commissioner Michele McClave.

The statewide school boards association as well as the state’s largest teachers’ union supported the reopening of in-person learning but with caveats.

Albany County residents who call 518-447-7777 will be directed to services relating to health insurance, pregnancy support, domestic violence, addiction support, social services, and more. The monthly call volume has about doubled since June.

In a poll released today, half of the members of New York State United Teachers say they are reluctant or unwilling to go back to in-person instruction this fall amid ongoing concerns over the health and safety of reopening school buildings.

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation extending the look-back window for victims of childhood abuse to file claims under the Child Victims Act, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

The New York State Department of Health has set maximum levels for three emerging drinking-water contaminants: perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and 1,4-dioxane.