Columbia County Chairman’s Press Release

Friday September 16, 2022

Chairman’s press release


COVID-19 cases

An outbreak at The Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing/Barnwell facility in Valatie and also likely the Columbia County Fair has caused an uptick in new positive COVID-19 cases this week, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said today.

“There have been 40 cases reported so far at Barnwell among the residents, along with 12 staff,” he said. “I think this is likely driven by the very contagious Omicron and BA.5 variants of the virus that have worked their way into the facility. Barnwell has been moving the positive cases into a separate wing and have been dealing with this in a positive fashion.”

Positive COVID-19 cases overall rose this week, with 141 positive cases reported, bringing to 268 new cases thus far in September. The number of county residents in the hospital is now at 12, with two people in the ICU.

There were 113 vaccinated at Thursday’s COVID-19 POD at the A.B. Shaw Firehouse in Claverack. Director Mabb said there is now a backlog of the Moderna vaccine, creating the likelihood that county DOH will be unable to make that vaccine available for the immediate future.

To this point, Director Mabb said his department has vaccinated 179 with the monkeypox vaccine, counting first and second doses.

As of Monday, per the CDC, Columbia County’s rate of new COVID-19 cases remained in the low risk category. On Thursday, the CDC-reported current average of new daily cases per 100,000 of population stood at 22. The positive test rate is 17.9 percent.

Although New York State has lifted the mandate for mask wearing while inside a business, local health care officials continue to encourage the wearing of masks while indoors, particularly for those with health problems.

Additional information on daily COVID-19 cases and more can be found on the Columbia County Department of Health’s website at

Upcoming Jynneos monkeypox clinic

The department’s next Jynneos monkeypox vaccine clinic will be held on Thursday, September 29 (dose two; 4:30-7 p.m., C-GCC PAC building).

Drive-thru flu clinics 

Saturday, September 24. New Lebanon Town Hall, 10 a.m. to noon.

Upcoming DOH COVID-19 vaccination clinics

The Columbia County Department of Health will offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics at the A.B. Shaw Fire Department in Claverack on Thursdays from 3-5:30 p.m. throughout the month of September. All vaccines are available on a walk-in basis. For additional information, contact the county DOH at 518-828-3358.

Student testing, home testing and affirmation reports

The DOH continues to provide testing for students and staff of Columbia County schools who need a negative test to return to school. This will be by appointment only at the DOH Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 12:45-3:30 p.m. Parents may contact (518) 828-3358 X1251 to schedule these appointments when needed. This testing will still only be for staff/students of Columbia County schools who need a negative COVID test to return to school. Also available on the county DOH website is information on filing home testing reports as well as affirmation letters of quarantine and/or isolation that may be required by employers.

County vaccination rates

As of Saturday, September 10, the Columbia County Department of Health had administered 11,292 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Second doses now number 9,571. The vaccine administered is Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson. Note: J&J – a one dose vaccine – is added as a first shot.

Third shots (boosters) of Moderna or Pfizer now number 4,132. Fourth shots (boosters) of Moderna or Pfizer now number 715. Johnson & Johnson boosters number 65. Pfizer bivalent boosters stand at 23, and 63 of Moderna.

Pediatric first shots number 679, with 640 second shots and 35 boosters.

The total number of Columbia County residents by all vaccine providers, as shown on the NYS COVID-19 vaccine tracker website: 45,960 have received at least one dose, or 76.7 percent of the county’s 59,916 population.

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 or their Facebook page @: The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at Every Friday afternoon, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell will issue a press release on the coronavirus situation. The releases can be found on the Columbia County website and the Facebook pages of the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Health, and the Emergency Management Office.

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