CAPITAL DISTRICT — The Guilderland and North Colonie school districts canceled classes on Friday, March 13 to continue essential staff discussions to address concerns of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In Guilderland, maintenance, custodial, transportation and district office staff still reported to work. On Thursday, March 12, the Albany County Health Department reported that an individual in a household connected to the Farnsworth Middle School tested positive for COVID-19 and that household is being quarantined as a precaution.
The school district also announced there will be no classes on Monday, March 16 so that staff could continue discussing how to prepare remote learning for students. Its COVID-19 Task Force also scheduled their conference day for Monday, March 16.
In North Colonie, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 but a Superintendent’s Conference Day is planned for today. According to the district’s website, today will be used to “develop a collection of online resources in the event that the district or a school needs to close for a period of time.”
Concerns regarding COVID-19 have grown considerably in the past week as Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced on Friday, March 13 that there are now four COVID-19 cases in the county. This marks two new cases beyond the initial two — a Guilderland woman in her 30s and a male UAlbany student in his 20s living off-campus in the city of Albany — reported on Thursday, March 12. McCoy said that the two new cases were directly related to one of the first two cases, but did not specify who or how.
They are now under quarantine.
The Guilderland Public Library closed for the day on Friday, March 13. The Colonie Library remains open but has canceled all events from Saturday, March 14 to Friday, March 20.
“This is an evolving situation and I will continue to say that the numbers of positive cases will go up as more people are tested. I urge you to remain calm,” said McCoy. “The plans are in place to test and monitor individuals for this virus. I continue to advise everyone to stay home if you’re sick; wash your hands frequently; don’t touch your face and cough and sneeze by covering your mouth, preferably with a tissue and then throwing it out.”