4/4/2020 Columbia County Press Release


Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said Saturday that he and the county’s Department of Health Director, Jack Mabb, recommend that county residents follow the CDC’s guidelines on the wearing of masks. “We understand the situation on the wearing of masks during this crisis has been continually evolving, and may well change again as we go along, but the current CDC guidelines appear to represent our best defense in the coronavirus fight,” said Murell. The CDC website can be located at cdc.gov.

COUNTY FINANCES Also Saturday, Murell noted that within county government, there is “a team of people in the process of analyzing the new state budget as it relates to the county budget. We need to try to get a solid picture of where we are headed at this unprecedented time.”

STATE NUMBERS As of Saturday morning, said County Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., New York State reported that 260,520 tests for COVID-19 had been administered around the state. Of that number, 102,863 yielded a positive result. There are currently 14,810 individuals hospitalized, with 3,731 of those admitted to the ICU. At this time, 2,935 have died from the virus.

OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR UNINSURED Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Department of Health has extended open enrollment for the uninsured to May 15. The DOH has allowed for assistors to enroll individuals and their families via phone. Locally, the Healthcare Consortium is the official resource in Columbia and Greene counties for health insurance enrollment through state DOH. The Healthcare Consortium has on hand four full-time, certified navigators who can help individuals and families shop for and enroll in a health insurance program, including public health Matt B. Murell Chairman Ronald L. Knott Deputy Chairman James J. Guzzi Deputy Chairman Kelly S. Baccaro Clerk insurance programs such as Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus, and commercial self-pay programs, called Qualified Health Plans. A Healthcare Consortium navigator can be reached at 518-822-8820.

NEW HOTLINE FOR ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett has established a new hotline for “the elderly and vulnerable in our county, including those with medical conditions or are disabled,” who would welcome a deputy checking on their well-being on a daily basis. The number for the hotline is 518-828-0601, extension 1400. “Leave a message and someone will return your call,” said Bartlett. “A time frame, morning or afternoon, will be established for when you would like the deputy to come to your residence. When the deputy comes by, he or she will knock on the door, then retreat to a safe distance and wait for someone to signal that all is well inside.” Also, the Sheriff said that those with questions regarding the proper disposal technique of rubber gloves are advised to visit “David Bartlett, Columbia County Sheriff.” In a 90-second video, Bartlett explains the correct procedure.

DONATIONS Those wishing to make donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, face shields, and gowns, are advised to contact the Emergency Management Office at 828-1212. If no one answers, leave a message and someone will return the call. Nitrile gloves are considered suitable for medical use, while other types of gloves must explicitly state they are for medical use. Food donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (828-4258) and local pantries.

SELF-ISOLATION Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell continues to urge anyone migrating from outside Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. “This is a critical component of our fight against the virus. We understand that people are coming here to escape the disease, but everyone should consider they are a carrier of the coronavirus,” said Murell. The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.

DISCLAIMER It is the county’s intention to issue accurate information regarding the coronavirus situation under conditions that can change by the minute. For the most up-to-date, accurate information, visit the county Department of Health’s website at https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/home/coronavirus-covid-19 or their Facebook page @: https://www.facebook.com/Columbia-County-Department-of-Health-469399129790791/ The county will issue a daily press release on the coronavirus situation every afternoon at 4. The releases can be found on the Columbia County website and the Facebook pages of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Health, and the Emergency Management Office.


Post a Comment