Assemblyman Joseph Giglio was back in Albany Monday after a bout with COVID-19 earlier this month.
Giglio, R-Gowanda, who represents the 148th Assembly District that includes Cattaraugus, Allegany and part of Steuben counties, reported Feb. 2 that he and his wife Ann had tested positive for COVID-19 and were quarantining at home.
“I’m back to normal, although my fatigue has held on,” Giglio said in a phone interview from Albany on Monday.
His wife, who is secretary to the Cattaraugus County attorney’s office, has also returned to work, Giglio said.
“We both had different symptoms,” the assemblyman said. “Her’s were more flu-like, while I had vertigo and was nauseous. Once they gave me something, I was better.”
Giglio said contact tracers from the Cattaraugus County Health Department called their house daily. “We had the go-ahead to go out, but this is the first time I’ve ventured out of the house. I’m in Albany today.”
The assemblyman said, “It’s potentially a big week here.” The Senate may vote to take back Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers to deal with the coronavirus pandemic — in great part over questions about the way COVID-19 nursing home deaths were reported.
Giglio isn’t sure how the Assembly would vote — if a vote even makes it to the floor — on stripping the governor’s emergency powers a month before they are due to expire.
Giglio is also working with other Republican members of the Assembly Corrections Committee on a white paper analyzing the governor’s request to close additional state prisons over the next two years.
This hits close to home for Giglio. His district is home to many of the 500 corrections officers and other staff who will lose their jobs when the Gowanda State Prison closes this spring.
“Show me where the savings are,” Giglio demanded. “We’ve got to consider the people in these jobs — corrections officers and other staff.”
Giglio admitted that the state’s prison population is down, but said “we question their numbers and question whether it is enough to keep everyone safe in these facilities. There has been an uptick in violence in these facilities.”
The assemblyman said if the Department of Corrections is going to restructure, “you need a plan. We don’t know how many more (Cuomo) wants to close in two years.”