HUDSON—Anticipating the day New York State begins to ease some restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, Columbia County has begun to ramp up its mask purchases, while at the same time recognizing the tremendous support in terms of mask donations that has come from the community, according to the April 14 coronavirus update press release issued by county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell.
“A number of groups and individuals have stepped up to donate masks, for which we are tremendously thankful. At this time, we need to begin looking to when some county personnel and some area businesses are allowed to begin the process of reopening. Masks will be a necessary component, as they are now, of helping to ensure everyone’s safety,” Mr. Murell said in the Tuesday release.
Austerlitz Town Supervisor and county Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Rob Lagonia, who has been at the forefront of collecting mask donations over the past several weeks, said in the release, “Home sewers have really fired up their sewing machines. We’re receiving donations of 100 masks, or 25 masks, or 50, almost daily. It doesn’t matter whether it’s five or 100, we need every one.”
To that end, Lagonia recommends that those who want to help out by making masks to donate consult Centers for Disease Control guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
“If possible, square, cloth masks are the best, with elastic if possible. Solid colors are preferred, but really any are fine. Under current conditions, we need, and will use, whatever we can get. At the same time, everyone should understand that cloth masks are a last-ditch option—they are not equal to a surgical or procedural mask, but cloth does provide a barrier if you should sneeze or cough,” Mr Lagonia said.
The Columbia County Department of Health (https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/home/coronavirus-covid-19/) reports 97 positive cases of Covid-19 and 9 deaths from Covid-19 as of April 14 at 2:30 p.m.
Forty of the 97 cases have recovered from Covid-19; 10 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 4 of those are in the ICU. The department has received 726 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 101 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 23 under precautionary quarantine; 9 residents have suspected, not tested cases.
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.
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 at www.facebook.com/Columbia-County-Department-of-Health-469399129790791/. The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.