May 20, 2020 Update

Columbia County Department of Health Update

As of 3 PM on May 20, 2020:
-Unfortunately, Columbia County has had a 29th resident pass away from COVID-19.
-353 positive cases of COVID-19 (One of the positive cases from yesterday actually belonged to another county)
-165 of the 353 cases have recovered from COVID-19
– 18 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those hospitalized are in the ICU
-We have received 3,526 test results completed for Columbia County residents
-156 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 4 under precautionary quarantine…/coronavirus-covid…/

Columbia County Update

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


FROM: Chairman Matt Murell


Columbia County and the Capital Region is busy navigating the first days of the reopening of the economy under Phase One of New York State’s New York Forward Plan, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell noted on Wednesday.

“There’s definitely some confusion in terms of what businesses and individuals can and can’t do as we begin to emerge from New York on PAUSE,” said Chairman Murell. “For businesses looking to reopen under Phase One, a reopening plan must be completed and available on premises for health authorities before the business can open.”

Phase One 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

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

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.


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 Matt B. Murell Chairman Kelly S. Baccaro Clerk Ronald L. Knott Deputy Chairman James J. Guzzi Deputy Chairman John L. Edwards Elementary School in Hudson, the first on Wednesday, May 27th, and the second on Tuesday, June 2nd: times are 10am to 12 noon. On Sunday, a third clinic, set for Sunday, June 10th, 10am to 2 pm, 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.

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