November 20, 2020 Update
Friday, November 20, 2020
CHAIRMAN’S PRESS RELEASE
COUNTY TAKING PROACTIVE STANCE ON VACCINATIONS
With a coronavirus vaccination now appearing closer on the horizon, Columbia County leaders have begun taking the necessary steps to ensure the Department of Health is properly prepared to conduct the vaccination process.
“There will be community resources – doctors’ offices and pharmacies, for instance — that will be giving vaccinations, but we have to be ready to handle a significant portion of the county population and that means hiring people to help with that massive undertaking,” said Department of Health Director Jack Mabb. He went on to note that nurses, paramedics and EMTs could be pressed into service on their days off from their regular work.
To that end, the county has begun adapting its existing plan to meet the needs of the pandemic, said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell on Friday.
“That means we need to do two things right away to get the ball rolling,” he said. “We’re looking for people to assist the Department of Health in doing the vaccinations, and we are instituting a fresh appeal for donations to help with those unforeseen staffing needs.”
Chairman Murell added that previous donations to the county have been instrumental in helping conduct its virus testing programs. “We are extremely thankful to everyone who has been helping out with those efforts,” he said.
Those interesting in donating may 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.
As the county goes through its vaccination planning and budgeting process, Director Mabb advised those interested in filling a vaccinator position to sign up on ServNY at: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/roll_up_your_sleeves_and_servny.htm
“We expect to be hiring soon. People who reside and/or work in the county will be given first preference,” said Director Mabb.
On Friday, Director Mabb reported 22 new positive cases of the virus for Thursday, and 14 Friday. There are 91 active cases in the county, with 361 in mandatory quarantine. Nineteen individuals are currently hospitalized, and four in ICU, including one on a ventilator.
CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITES (as of 11-20-2020)
New York Testing Site, University at Albany- By appointment only at 888-364-3065 or www.covid19screening.health.ny.gov; 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, 518-719-3600, by appointment only on Wednesdays from 5-6:30 p.m.
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; Rapid Testing, Albany. 518-240-1456, insurance is billed.
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. Ft. Edward, Tuesday, 7-10 a.m.; Johnstown, Tuesday, 7-11 a.m.; and Schenectady, Wednesday, 12-2 p.m.
UPCOMING COVID-19 MOBILE TESTING CLINICS
Future COVID-19 testing clinics by the county DOH remains at the John L. Edwards Primary School in Hudson, and will be on Tuesday, December 1 from 9-11 am
The clinics are limited to 100 tests. Pre-registration is not required. A form of photo identification will be necessary, and masks are required for entry. These will be nasopharyngeal swabs which are useful in detecting the virus in actively sick people. The kits used at these clinics are part of those purchased with the help of private donations to Columbia County.
Symptoms most typical of COVID-19 include fever, cough, trouble breathing, loss of taste or smell, as well as any symptoms consistent with CDC guidelines.
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.
Masks: 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]
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. If no one answers, leave a message and someone will return the call.
Food: Donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (518-828-4258) and local food pantries.