With positive tests reaching into the city, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden is among the local officials dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Like every other American city, Madden says Troy is taking proactive and precautionary measures to halt the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and workforce reduction. "We've significantly dialed back operations at City Hall, actually, all of our facilities, City Hall is closed to the public other than by appointment. And that's just for the time being, that could shift. Hour by hour, things are changing. Our businesses are respecting the call to close down. It’s very sad to see that these are small businesses. These are residents in our community who have invested their life in their business, and now it's shut down. And the great uncertainty is just how long this is going to last. It's difficult to watch. From the city's perspective, we've identified our most essential services and that's where we're focusing most of our attention. So that would include police and fire protection, water and sewer, and then our regular solid waste collection. So right now our efforts with limited staffing are directed at making sure that those services remain available to the public throughout the crisis."
The Democrat says the economic impact of the virus is acute.
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"It's the loss of commerce you know, it's the loss of the opportunity to go out and have a glass of wine or a meal in one of our restaurants or visit the farmers market. The farmers market was closed last week. It'll be closed again this week, and I suspect for several weeks into the future, though, no call has been made on this, on that rather. But I do foresee that being closed for a bit longer. And you know, part of what makes Troy so Troy is the intermingling of people, at our businesses, at the farmers market, at events, all of that has stopped and it's startling to see what our city looks like under these conditions. Not as bad as what we're seeing coming out of Italy, but along the same lines, places that that are always crowded that you always expect to see a crowd at, difficulty parking, all that stuff is gone now. streets are relatively empty. Things are quiet."
Court activities have ground to a halt. Madden says the pandemic has the city in "emergency mode." "So the things that we would typically be talking about, the projects that are underway, the events that are lining up for the summer, none of that dialogue is happening at this point in time. What we're doing is we're monitoring closely, the messaging and directives that are coming out of Albany. I think the governor has done a terrific job getting as far ahead of this as he possibly can. And we're respecting the orders that are coming out there. So we're constantly trying to honor that while providing as much service as we possibly can to the residents."
Madden encourages all to stay safe and stay calm as we ride out the pandemic together. "We will get through this. I know we'll get through this. There will be people in Troy who become sick. There might even become casualties as a result of this. We will get through this. For the time being, the best thing people can do is stay home. Honor the social distancing protocols of the CDC, and New York State. In the meantime, there's a great shortage of blood right now, if you can find a blood bank and donate, that would be a great thing to do. Cut our staff a little bit of slack, we're on a skeletal staff. So we're not going to get to everything as quick as we normally would. The staff that is in is working very hard. Please respect that and understand that they have families and that they have fears, the same fears that you and I and everybody else has."