County recommends following CDC mask-wearing guidelines

HUDSON—Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell and the county’s Department of Health Director Jack Mabb recommend that county residents follow the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines for the wearing of masks.

“We understand the situation on the wearing of masks during this crisis has been continually evolving, and may well change again as we go along, but the current CDC guidelines appear to represent our best defense in the coronavirus fight,” Mr. Murell said in his April 4 coronavirus update press release.

The CDC website can be located at

Also in the release, Mr. Murell noted that within county government, there is “a team of people in the process of analyzing the new state budget as it relates to the county budget. We need to try to get a solid picture of where we are headed at this unprecedented time.”

County Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., said that as of Saturday morning, New York State reported that 260,520 tests for COVID-19 had been administered around the state. Of that number, 102,863 yielded a positive result.

There are currently 14,810 individuals hospitalized, with 3,731 of those admitted to the ICU. At this time, 2,935 have died from the virus.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has extended open enrollment for those who are uninsured to May 15. The DOH has allowed for personnel to enroll individuals and their families via phone.

Locally, the Healthcare Consortium is the official resource in Columbia and Greene counties for health insurance enrollment through state DOH. The Healthcare Consortium has on hand four full-time, certified navigators who can help individuals and families shop for and enroll in a health insurance program, including public health insurance programs such as Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus, and commercial self-pay programs, called Qualified Health Plans.

A Healthcare Consortium navigator can be reached at 518-822-8820.

Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett has established a new hotline for “the elderly and vulnerable in our county, including those with medical conditions or who are disabled,” and would welcome a deputy checking on their well-being on a daily basis.

The number for the hotline is 518-828-0601 X 1400.

“Leave a message and someone will return your call. A time frame, morning or afternoon, will be established for when you would like the deputy to come to your residence. When the deputy comes by, he or she will knock on the door, then retreat to a safe distance and wait for someone to signal that all is well inside,” the sheriff said in the release.

Also, the sheriff said that those with questions regarding the proper disposal technique of rubber gloves are advised to visit “David Bartlett, Columbia County Sheriff.” In a 90-second video, he explains the correct procedure.

Anyone who wants 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 pantries.

The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at

For the most up-to-date, accurate information, visit the county Department of Health’s website at or their Facebook page:

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