Columbia County Update 4/9/20


Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said Thursday that with more than 500 coronavirus tests having been administered to county residents, the current number of 80 positives is yielding a positive/negative ratio of roughly one in seven.

“That’s similar to what we’ve been seeing in other areas,” Mabb said. “Keep in mind that we haven’t been testing anyone who’s not symptomatic or otherwise has had contact with someone with COVID19.” “Social distancing has definitely helped the situation”, he said.

“This time of year can also sow confusion,” Mabb said. “People have colds, the flu is still around, it’s allergy season – all these things are going on at the same time and doesn’t always make it easy to distinguish what’s going on”.

The county Health Department anticipates delivery late next week of 1,000 test kits, which were ordered on Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to conduct more extensive testing in the county,” said Mabb.

Mabb added that the county Department of Health will be working with Columbia Memorial Health to set up and conduct community testing locations. Further information regarding the testing will be forthcoming as plans are developed.


At the Columbia County Office for the Aging, Administrator Kevin McDonald said on Thursday that while all county meal sites are closed until further notice, Meals on Wheels continues to deliver.

“All we ask is that recipients put a small table or chair outside near their front door – we’ll ring the bell, back up, and wait for someone to appear,” he said.

Earlier in the coronavirus crisis, OFA had distributed to its Meals on Wheels recipients a week’s worth of shelf-stable meals, and now plan to send out another round this coming week, McDonald said.

Matt B. Murell Chairman Kelly S. Baccaro Clerk Ronald L. Knott Deputy Chairman James J. Guzzi Deputy Chairman “The shelf-stable meals are in case something happens and we are unable to get a hot meal to them, that they’ll still have something on hand to eat. A sizeable grant from the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation has allowed us to do this second round. We thank them for that,” said McDonald.

In addition, McDonald said, “I can’t thank enough our kitchen crew and our volunteers. They have all been doing incredible work.”

An OFA staff member is present in the OFA office every weekday from 8-4 for those seniors seeking assistance. The telephone number is 518-828-4258.


In the midst of coronavirus battle, county officials took a moment Thursday to issue a heartfelt “thank you” to all those whose efforts are critical on the front lines.

“Not only do we recognize the heroic work being done by healthcare personnel, emergency first responders and the like, but we acknowledge all the essential workers in grocery stores, school employees, utility workers, and others who are working day-in and day-out to ensure that life can continue to go on as normally as possible. People are doing amazing work under the most trying of circumstances,” said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell.


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.

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 (518- 828-4258) and local pantries.

Monetary donations intended for the purchase of 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 can 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.


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.


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

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 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.

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