Update from Supervisor Syed 05.14.20

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Dear Niskayuna Residents,

In his daily briefing, Governor Cuomo announced that certain regions of New York State met the State’s required metrics and were cleared to reopen on May 16th. Our region, the Capital Region, has reached five of the seven metrics needed in order to safely reopen. According to the NY Forward reopening guide, reaching all seven metrics will ensure that:

• The infection rate is sufficiently low;
• The health care system has the capacity to absorb a potential resurgence in new cases;
• Diagnostic testing capacity is sufficiently high to detect and isolate new cases; and
• Robust contact-tracing capacity is in place to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The metrics that our region has yet to achieve is a fourteen day decline in hospital deaths, or fewer than a three day average of five deaths and we have yet to reach the threshold of contact tracers.  To view the Regional Monitoring Dashboard:  https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard

Once our region is cleared to un-pause, we will begin the phased reopening of businesses. Between each phase there will be a two-week period to evaluate the effects of the reopening on the hospitalization and infection rate. The phases are as follows:

• Phase I: Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Select Retail Curbside Pickup, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
• Phase II: Professional Services, Finance and Insurance, Retail, Administrative Support, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing
• Phase III: Restaurants and Food Service
• Phase IV: Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, Education

In its daily update, Schenectady County has reported 570 positive cases of COVID-19, 20 hospitalizations, 28 deaths, 457 individuals in quarantine and 204 individuals in isolation. There have been 481 recoveries.

We are working diligently to formulate our own reopening plan so that when our region is cleared to un-pause, we will be ready to safely welcome back the general public to Town Hall and other Town-owned facilities. Consistent with Schenectady County’s declaration on May 11, 2020, I signed a proclamation extending the local state of emergency in the Town of Niskayuna for an additional thirty days.  While we hope our region is soon cleared to re-open, until then, Town Hall and other Town-owned facilities will remain closed to the public.

While our Town Hall remains closed to the public, we encourage you to pay your water bills online: https://www.niskayuna.org/waterbilling

Please note the following set to take place beginning Saturday, May 23rd:

- Effective Saturday, May 23, 2020, the Niskayuna Dog Park will reopen to the public. 

Town-owned playgrounds will re-open to the public on a park-by-park basis, with one week between each reopening, as outlined below:

- Effective Saturday, May 23, 2020, the playground at River Road Park will reopen to the public
- Effective Saturday, May 30, 2020, the playground at Blatnick Park will reopen to the public
- Effective Saturday, June 6, 2020, the playground at Avon Crest will reopen to the public
- Town-owned pavilions remain closed to the public until further notice.
- Town-owned basketball courts, baseball fields, softball fields, soccer fields, lacrosse fields, lacrosse box, volleyball courts, and tennis courts are available for passive use only until  further notice.

Individuals must wear masks or face coverings while at the Niskayuna Dog Park and must maintain social distancing (6 feet) from other members of the public. Individuals must wear masks or face coverings (unless age 2 or younger) while using Town-owned playgrounds. Individuals must maintain social distancing from members of the public while using playgrounds. Please be mindful to maintain social distancing while using any public spaces, including on the bike paths and in the parks. Please where a mask in situations where you cannot maintain at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others, including on the paths and in the parks. Failure to adhere to social distancing may result in fines up to $1,000.

We understand that these uncertain times can be challenging for many but there are resources to help.  While our Town facilities remain closed to the public, our staff remains available to assist you via phone, email, mail and the web. Our senior center staff remains ready to assist and the Senior Bus continues to operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-3pm.  Please call the Bus Driver at 518-495-6202 to schedule bus service. If you would like to utilize the Senior Bus service, you must wear a mask. If you cannot obtain a mask due to lack of availability or financial hardship, one can be provided to you. 

Thank you for calmly making it through these past few months. As we reach the precipice of reopening our community, let’s still remember that social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering in situations where social distancing isn’t possible and consistent hand washing for at least twenty seconds are great methods of infection prevention.

I look forward to soon saying, “We made it through this together.”

Sincerely,

Yasmine Syed
Town Supervisor​