May 21, 2020 Update

 Columbia County Department of Health Update

As of 3 PM on May 21, 2020:
-Columbia County has had 29 residents that have pass away from COVID-19.
-358 positive cases of COVID-19 (One of our cases from yesterday actually belonged to another county).
-182 of the 358 cases have recovered from COVID-19
– 17 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those hospitalized are in the ICU
-We have received 3,749 test results completed for Columbia County residents
-133 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 5 under precautionary quarantine

Columbia County Update

FROM: Chairman Matt Murell

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION

With the Capital Region now in Phase One of New York Forward, Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said on Thursday that the Capital Region control room has recently been discussing the possibility of area high schools conducting graduation. “The thinking among the group is that schools have our support for graduation ceremonies if they can come up with a reasonable plan,” he said.

The control room is composed of the chief elected official of each of the eight Capital Region counties, which are Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Washington, Warren, Columbia, and Greene.

“Once a school has been given the okay by a local committee, it’ll be a matter of the state giving its approval to go ahead with graduation,” said Chairman Murell.

In Columbia County, Chairman Murell, county Department of Health Director Jack Mabb, and county Emergency Management Director David W. Harrison, Jr., are charged with reviewing the plans.

COUNTY BUILDING CLOSURES EXTENDED

On Thursday, Chairman Murell announced that the closure of public county buildings has been extended through May 29th. Departments deemed essential will continue to be staffed and will accept appointments from the public.

The following departments are considered essential: 911, Communications, Sheriff, Corrections, Public Health, Office for the Aging, Highway, Solid Waste, MIS, Board of Elections, DSS, District Attorney, and Facilities. The County Clerk’s office is open by appointment to process dealer work and necessary County Clerk work.

A state of emergency remains in effect in Columbia County to June 15th.

BUSINESS REOPENING TOOLS

Phase One of New York Forward, which began on Wednesday, includes construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup; agriculture, forestry and fishing; as well as low-risk business and recreational activities, including drive-in movie theaters and some outdoor activities.

Guidelines and templates relating to reopening plans can be found at

https://columbiacomeback.com/resources/phase-one/

Also, New York State has recently added a “Reopening Tool,” designed to let businesses know when they may reopen in a particular region. It can be accessed at https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward

As for individuals heading out into public spaces, little has changed, said Chairman Murell. Masks covering the nose and mouth, as well as maintaining social distancing standards, are still required. One thing that does change is gatherings of 10 people or less, which are now permitted.

FOOD DISTRIBUTION PLANNED FOR NEXT WEEK

On Tuesday, May 26, from 10 a.m. until the food is gone, local food pantries and Catholic Charities will distribute food, fresh fruit, vegetables, and other items at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham. Organizers ask that no one arrive until 10 a.m. to prevent large crowds. Those in vehicles are asked to remain in them, while pedestrians are reminded to practice social distancing. “Adhering to these instructions will allow us to distribute food in a timely fashion,” said organizers.

Reminders…….

THREE TESTING CLINICS UPCOMING

Recently, the DOH Columbia County Department of Health announced a pair of coronavirus testing clinics set for the John L. Edwards Elementary School in Hudson, the first on Wednesday, May 27, and the second on Tuesday, June 2. Times are 10 a.m. to 12 noon. On Sunday, it added a third clinic, set for Sunday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham. “I would like to stress that although we are looking for individuals who are symptomatic for the Edwards clinics, or who have experienced symptoms in the recent past, we will gladly accept any essential worker who would like to be tested regardless of whether or not they have symptoms,” said Director Mabb. “The Chatham clinic will be open to everyone.” Signup instructions and further instructions regarding the John L. Edwards clinics can be found on the Health Department’s webpage on the Columbia County website, or by calling 518-828-3358.

AVAILABLE SERVICES

Family Assistance Network: As part of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Columbia County Emergency Management has asked leaders in the human services and spiritual areas of our community for help, Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., said Saturday. The individuals were asked to form a Family Assistance Network to provide information to assist county residents who may be dealing with someone close to them who passed away as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Information on where someone can reach out for help is posted on various websites, including the Columbia County website and Emergency Management Facebook page. Hotline for Elderly and Vulnerable: Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett has established a 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. S

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. “Everyone should consider they are a carrier of the coronavirus,” said Murell.

DONATION INFORMATION Monetary: Monetary donations intended for the purchase of coronavirus testing kits and much-needed equipment for emergency responders, medical personnel, and others on the front lines of the coronavirus fight are advised to send a check in care of Columbia County, with coronavirus noted in the memo field. The check should be sent to the Columbia County Controller’s Office, 401 State Street, Hudson, NY 12534. All money received is being placed in a dedicated account.

PPE: 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 518-828-1212. If no one answers, leave a message and someone will return the call.

Food: Donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (518-828-4258) and local food pantries.

Masks: Those interested in donating masks should contact Austerlitz Town Supervisor and county Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Rob Lagonia at [email protected] “It doesn’t matter whether it’s five or 100, we need every one,” said Lagonia, who recommends that those wishing to help out with mask donations consult CDC guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diycloth-face-coverings.html Currently, Ocean State Job Lot stores are offering free fabric for use in the construction of masks in a “Mask Fabric For Free” campaign. Visit any Ocean State location for the fabric, which is said to be of a high-quality cotton/polyester blend available in two sizes. Further information is available on the Ocean State Job Lot website. Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts is offering free mask kits. Those seeking to acquire a kit are advised to order online for curbside pickup. The Greenport store telephone number is 518-828-2621. Current store hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

AVAILABLE SERVICES Family Assistance Network: As part of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Columbia County Emergency Management has asked leaders in the human services and spiritual areas of our community for help, Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., said Saturday. The individuals were asked to form a Family Assistance Network to provide information to assist county residents who may be dealing with someone close to them who passed away as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Information on where someone can reach out for help is posted on various websites, including the Columbia County website and Emergency Management Facebook page. Hotline for Elderly and Vulnerable: Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett has established a 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.

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 state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.

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