May 19, 2020 Updates

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the Capital Region can begin reopening on Wednesday.

The region’s reopening team is training more than 400 people who will serve as “tracers” and help identify people who may have had contact with a person infected with COVID-19.

“So that’s great news,” Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus task force briefing on Long Island. “They’re now being trained today and Capital Region should open tomorrow.”

The governor said that deaths, infections and hospitalizations are continuing to decline. “We are basically back to where we started before this tragedy descended on us,” he said.

There were 105 fatalities reported Monday that were associated with COVID-19, which is the lowest number of deaths in a 24-hour period since late March. Twenty of those deaths were in nursing homes.

Cuomo again is urging Congress to approve legislation that would send financial aid to state and local governments. He said governors across the nation, through the National Governors Association, are urging federal lawmakers to provide at least $500 billion to states.

“In unison, we’re saying to Washington, you need to pass funding for state and local governments,” he said.

Here are the businesses approved to reopen during phase one:

Delivery and curbside pick-up service only for the following businesses: clothing stores; electronics and appliance stores; electronic shopping and mail-order houses; furniture and home furnishing stores; florists; general merchandise stores; health and personal care stores; jewelry, luggage and leather goods stores; lawn and garden equipment and supplies stores; office supplies, stationery, and gift stores; used merchandise stores; shoe stores; sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores.

Apparel manufacturing; computer and electronic product manufacturing; electric lighting equipment manufacturing; fabricated metal product manufacturing; furniture and related product manufacturing; leather and allied product manufacturing; machinery manufacturing; nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing; paper manufacturing; petroleum and coal products manufacturing; plastics and rubber products manufacturing; printing and related support activities; textile mills; textile product mills; wood product manufacturing.
Wholesale Trade:
Apparel, piece goods, and notions merchant wholesalers; chemical and allied products merchant wholesalers; furniture and home furnishing merchant wholesalers; household appliances and electrical and electronic goods merchant wholesalers; machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers; metal and mineral (except petroleum) merchant wholesalers; paper and paper product merchant wholesalers; professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers; wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers; miscellaneous durable goods merchant wholesalers; miscellaneous nondurable goods merchant wholesalers.

Columbia County Update

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


FROM: Chairman Matt Murell


With the Capital Region having achieved its goal of signing up a sufficient number of contact tracers, the region is now poised to beginning reopening business activity as outlined in Phase One of the state’s New York Forward plan. Contact tracers were the last of the seven metrics the Capital Region needed to reach before requesting state approval to begin the phased reopening.

“Since yesterday, we more than hit the number we needed under the plan – the new contact tracers are now undergoing the necessary training for the position. In the next day or two I expect that we will be able to begin reopening under Phase One in Columbia County,” said Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell.

Information regarding when a region is eligible to resume business activities can be found at 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 The Columbia County Comeback Committee is available to help navigate re-opening at


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.


Recently, the 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 27th, and the second on Tuesday, June 2nd. On Sunday, a third clinic was set for Sunday, June 10th, at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham. Times are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all 3 clinics. (further details for the fairgrounds location will follow).

“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 Matt B. Murell  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.

Columbia County Board of Health Update

As of 3 PM on May 19, 2020:
-We are sad to report a 28th resident that has passed away from COVID-19.
-354 positive cases of COVID-19
-164 of the 354 cases have recovered from COVID-19
– 19 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those hospitalized are in the ICU
-We have received 3,353 test results completed for Columbia County residents
-153 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 5 under precautionary quarantine

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