February 24, 2021 Update

Chairman’s press release
MIDWEEK NUMBERS
As of midday Wednesday, said Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb, the DOH had recorded 14 new cases of COVID-19 among county residents. Eleven new cases were reported for Tuesday.
ADVISORY: Please note that the numbers distributed in Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell’s coronavirus press releases are morning results provided to the county Department of Health via the state reporting system. Updated numbers are issued again by the state in the afternoon, ordinarily past the time this press release is distributed. Consequently, there may be discrepancies in the numbers that appear here versus the final daily numbers shown on the DOH website and elsewhere.
COUNTY ONSITE STAFFING REDUCTION EXTENDED
Current reduced onsite staffing levels of Columbia County departments will continue for an additional two weeks beginning Monday, March 1, said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell on Wednesday.
“As positive COVID-19 cases decrease, we will re-evaluate county onsite staffing,” said Chairman Murell.
THE TWO SIDES OF COVID-19: PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
“Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it is clear why so much interest is being focused on the COVID-19 vaccines, and rightfully so, for they help to prevent becoming ill with the virus. However, I think it is also important to remind people that there are a number of therapeutics available to combat the disease once someone gets it,” said Columbia County Department of Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Chuck Kaiser on Wednesday.
“There are two main stages of the disease that occur once the virus enters the body, the replication stage, and the exaggerated immune/inflammatory response stage. Current therapeutics are aimed to address each stage,” he said, adding:
“Therapeutics such as monoclonal antibody therapy, certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and zinc, and certain antivirals such as Remdesivir, help to reduce the replication stage. Other therapeutics such as Dexamethasone, and nasal or inhaled corticosteroids, help to address the exaggerated inflammatory response. And finally, there are antibiotics to treat lung infections resulting from the inflammatory response, as well as anticoagulants (blood thinners), to help prevent cardiovascular events such as a heart attack or stroke, which have been associated with COVID-19.”

“Ideally, we want to do everything we can to help prevent getting the virus,” said Kaiser. “However, for those individuals who may contract the disease, be encouraged, for there are therapeutics out there that can help reduce its severity and assist in a full recovery. At the first sign of symptoms or a positive test, contact your medical provider to discuss what therapeutics might be best for you.”
COUNTY VACCINATION INFORMATION PHONE LINE
The Columbia County Department of Health has introduced a dedicated telephone number for those inquiring on their vaccination eligibility: 518-697-5560. The line is active Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This phone line provides general info about vaccine availability in Columbia County. It does not determine eligibility for the vaccine. To check on vaccination distribution procedures and other vaccine-related information, residents may to consult the New York State Department website at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov
The Columbia County Department of Health does not have the authority to define vaccination categories.
CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITES (as of 1-8-2021)
New York Testing Sites by appointment only at 888-364-3065 or to find a location visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you; WellNow Urgent Care, 446 Fairview Avenue, Hudson. 518-267-3496. May be out-of-pocket costs; Columbia County Department of Health, 518-828-3358. Check www.columbiacountynyhealth.com for scheduled walk-up and drive-thru clinics; Greene County Department of Health, by appointment only on Wednesdays from 5-6:30 p.m., 518-719-3600..
Also, Community Care Physicians, Latham. 518-863-3600. 12-7 p.m.; Priority 1 Urgent Care, Guilderland, 518- 867-8040; Whitney Young, Albany, 518-465-4771;
Rite Aid, Colonie, 518-267-3496; CareMount Medical Urgent Care, Rhinebeck, 844-484-6564; CVS-Valatie, 518- 758-2200; CVS-Red Hook, 845-758-9612.
Also, Central Med Urgent Care, 1662 Central Avenue, Albany, 518-240-1456, bills insurance; Walgreens Rapid Testing, 41 Holland Avenue, Albany, 518-426, 2976.
EmUrgentCare locations offer COVID-19 tests for patients without symptoms at the following locations: 98 Wolf Rd., Albany; 11835 US-9W, West Coxsackie; 2976 US-9W, Saugerties; 5 New Karner Rd., Guilderland. The telephone number for all locations is 518-264-9000. Check for out-of-pocket costs.
Price Chopper test locations with testing hours from 7-9 a.m. on Tuesdays: Chatham, Clifton Park, Latham, Troy, Wilton. Other Price Chopper locations and times: Ft. Edward, Tuesday, 7-10 a.m.; Glenmont, Wednesday, 7-10 a.m.; Johnstown, Tuesday, 7-11 a.m.; and Schenectady, Wednesday, 12-2 p.m.
Pine Plains Pharmacy: 2965 Church Street, Pine Plains, 518-398-5588. Monday-Saturday by appointment only.
AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST AVAILABLE
LabCorp currently offers an at-home COVID-19 test at https://www.pixel.labcorp.com/at-home-test-kits/covid- 19-test-home-collection-kit
This test does not detect antibodies or immunity. It is designed to determine active infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
After completing a short eligibility survey, choose a billing option, which can be through personal insurance, the use of federal funds to cover the cost of this test on your behalf if you’re uninsured, or with a credit card. The test kit will arrive via FedEx. After collecting and returning your sample, the average time to deliver results is one-two days from when your sample is received at the lab, according to LabCorp.
COUNTY DOH FLU SHOTS AVAILABLE
The flu vaccine will be offered by appointment only at the regularly scheduled immunization clinic every Tuesday from 1-3:30 p.m. at Columbia County Department of Health at 325 Columbia Street, Hudson. An evening immunization clinic is also available on the third Tuesday of each month from 4-6 p.m. All clinics are by appointment only.
The flu vaccine is the best protection we have from the flu and its complication, and has become even more critical in the time of COVID-19. Talk to your doctor before getting the flu shot if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to eggs or a previous flu shot, or have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
The DOH accepts the following insurance plans: Blue Shield of North East New York, CDPHP, Fidelis, Medicare Part B, MVP, Medicaid, and United Health Care. Other senior plans may be billed, including some Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. If you are uninsured or underinsured, you may be eligible for a lower fee or no fee for the flu vaccine. All others are expected to pay a fee of $42 for the flu vaccine, with the exact cash amount or checks accepted. Debit or credit cards are not accepted.
COUNTY ACCEPTING MASK DONATIONS
Those wishing to donate cloth masks to the county stockpile may contact the county Emergency Management office at 518-828-1212 or [email protected] Or Supervisor Rob Lagonia at [email protected]
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 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.
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.
Food: Donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (518-828-4258) and local food pantries.

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 or their Facebook page @:
https://www.facebook.com/Columbia-County-Department-of-Health-469399129790791. The coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the county will issue a press release on the coronavirus situation at 4 p.m. 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.

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