County gets ‘D’ in social distancing

HUDSON—The Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) has ordered 1,000 coronavirus test kits as of April 8, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell’s daily Covid-19 update press release.

The kits, Thermo Fisher Kits offered by Command Sourcing, Inc., are expected to ship at the end of next week. The total cost for the kits will be $12,000.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to conduct more extensive testing in the county. Testing is key to understanding the extent of the disease—and aiding in the fight against it—in our community,” County DOH Director Jack Mabb said earlier in the week.

Also in the Wednesday release, the health department reminded everyone of the proper procedure for wearing a simple face mask. As follows:

1. Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water

2. Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Mold the metal part to your nose and cheeks

3. Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60%) or soap and water

4. Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp or gets wet or soiled. The best policy is to not re-use single-use masks. However, due to the shortage of masks consideration should be made to use one mask per shift

5. Masks can only be reused by the same person. It may be reused no more than 4 to 7 days maximum and kept in a paper (not plastic) bag in between uses

6. To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water.

Based on cellphone results compiled over the past several weeks, Columbia County residents have earned a “D” rating for social distancing practices, according to the data analysis company Unacast.

Those who participate in the process have signed up for tracking by the company.

“As we begin to see some positive signs regarding the flattening of the curve, much of which can be attributed to social distancing, it’s as important as ever to keep at least six feet between yourself and others. It’s not time to let up on the gas pedal,” county Board of Supervisors Chair Murell said in the Wednesday release.

The county has not received an emergency delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the New York State stockpile since April 1.

“Agencies continue to look for vendors who can supply medical grade PPE at a decent price in a reasonable amount of time. They are also relying on donated items, for which they are extremely grateful and fortunate to be receiving,” Columbia County Emergency Management Director David W. Harrison, Jr., said in the release.

The regular monthly meeting of the county Board of Supervisors will be conducted tonight, April 8, on YouTube. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and can be viewed via the link published on the home page of the Columbia County website (columbiacountyny.com).

Anyone who wants to donate 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 there is no answer, 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 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 being accepted.

Checks should be sent 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 12534. All money received is being placed in a dedicated account.

Update from Columbia County Department of Health, April 8, 3.30 pm:
*76 positive cases of Covid-19
*31 of the 76 cases have recovered from Covid-19
*4 of the positive cases have passed away
*6 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 2 of those are in the ICU
*We have received 504 test results completed for Columbia County residents
* 80 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 19 under precautionary quarantine
*There are 15 residents with suspected, not tested cases

The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.

For the most up-to-date, accurate information, visit the county Department of Health’s website at https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/home/coronavirus-covid-19 or their Facebook page @: https://www.facebook.com/Columbia-County-Department-of-Health-469399129790791/

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