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Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan Provides Update to City Residents Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak Response

May 15, 2020

Date: May 15, 2020
Contact: David Galin 
(518) 801-2857

ALBANY, NY – On Friday, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan provided residents with a video update regarding the City’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To view Mayor Sheehan’s message, please visit the City’s Facebook page.

Re-Opening the Capital Region:
On Friday, Mayor Sheehan expressed disappointment and frustration that NY on PAUSE has not yet been lifted in the Capital Region. While Mayor Sheehan, like residents and businesses, is eager to emerge from NY on PAUSE, Mayor Sheehan stressed the importance of doing so safely. The health and safety of the City’s employees and community is of the utmost importance.

As a member of the Capital Region's "control room" -- a state-appointed group overseeing the Capital Region's reopening strategy – Mayor Sheehan is working hard to ensure the City can re-open safely and start getting residents back to work.

Mayor Sheehan also encouraged businesses in the City of Albany and across the Capital Region to begin reviewing the requirements for reopening by visiting www.forward.ny.gov. This site is home to a variety of guidelines that apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.

Mayor Sheehan implored residents to keep washing their hands, wearing masks, staying at home, and practicing social distancing.

Walk-Up Testing Sites:
On Friday, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy announced the schedule for walk-up COVID-19 test sites in the City of Albany.

Monday, May 18
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center 920 Lark Drive, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Tuesday, May 19
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 9:00 am to 12:00pm

Wednesday, May 20
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Capital South Campus, 20 Warren Street, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Thursday, May 21
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Friday, May 22
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, 920 Lark Drive, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

All sites will be available on a walk-up basis, however an appointment is required. To make an appointment, please call (518) 465-4771 and press 0.

Please note: SUNY Albany's drive-through testing site continues to be available by appointment to test symptomatic individuals as well as asymptomatic essential workers. To make an appointment, please call the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065 or visit https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/

Fiscal Strain Created by COVID-19:
Cities, towns, and villages across the country are facing fiscal challenges because of lost revenue from this pandemic, and this week Mayor Sheehan’s administration announced that the City is projecting a $17.9 million revenue shortfall as a result of COVID-19.

Mayor Sheehan thanked the City’s employees and residents who have contacted officials in Washington to demand direct aid to State and Local governments. Speaker Pelosi introduced a bill this week that would provide much needed relief to our city and to cities and towns across the country. Mayor Sheehan reminded residents of the need to keep the pressure on to ensure that the City’s employees, who have been on the front line since the beginning of this pandemic, are treated fairly.

Mayor Sheehan understands the idea of layoffs and budget cuts is causing tremendous strain and anxiety. Contrary to what residents may read in the news or hear represented by other public officials, Mayor Sheehan does not take this possibility lightly and reiterated that the City will not rush the process of determining what cuts need to be made. As more facts become available, Mayor Sheehan’s administration will continue to consider every option with the goal of having the least impact possible on City services and both our residents’ and employees’ livelihoods. Both our residents and city employees deserve nothing less.

Tennis Courts Reopening:
Governor Cuomo announced on Monday, May 11 that tennis courts across the State may reopen on Friday, May 15. Additional outdoor, low-risk activities will also be allowed, including landscaping, gardening, and the operation of drive-in movie theaters.

As a result, the City of Albany’s Recreation Department has replaced the tennis nets at Rosemont, Mater Christi, Westland Hills, Lincoln, Washington, Hackett, Arbor Hill, Krank, and Hoffman Parks.

It has been reported that Empire State Development has also instituted the following conditions:
  • Courts must be restricted to singles play
  • No means of congregation may be available
  • All buildings (including bathrooms) must remain closed
  • All places of congregation (chairs, benches, etc.) must be off limits
The City’s Recreation Department will continue to monitor Governor Cuomo’s directives closely and adjust our operations accordingly.

Virtual Health Town Hall & Virtual Tulip Festival:
Last week, the City of Albany hosted both a virtual Health Town Hall and virtual Tulip Festival.

The virtual Town Hall covered a variety of health-related topics as Mayor Sheehan was joined by Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, MD, MPH, Commissioner, Albany County Health Department, Dr. Dorcey Applyrs, DrPH, MPH, Chief City Auditor, City of Albany, Dr. Brenda Robinson, DNP, MSN, RN, CEO, Black Nurses Coalition, and Dr. Frank Dimase, MD, FACEP, Chief of Emergency Medicine, St. Peter’s Hospital. The virtual Health Town Hall can be watched in its entirety by visiting Mayor Sheehan’s Facebook page.

The virtual Tulip Festival can be replayed on the YouTube Page Albany Events and by visiting www.facebook.com/AlbanyNYEvents.

COVID-19 Prevention Reminders:
As a reminder, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the Albany County Department of Health for the most recent guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions and symptoms.

All individuals are urged to continue following social distancing protocols, including staying at home as much as possible, especially if you feel ill but even if you feel well, keeping at least 6 feet from other individuals, regularly washing hands, covering coughs, avoiding the touching of face, eyes, mouth, nose, and ears, and taking special caution to avoid exposing the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

You may also find a variety of City of Albany-specific COVID-19 response information, including information regarding where to access food or child care, school closures, and how to volunteer, by visiting the City of Albany COVID-19 Resource Guide.

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