Family Assistance Network formed, 11th person dies

HUDSON—A Family Assistance Network has been formed to provide information to assist Columbia County residents in distress after the coronavirus-related death of someone close to them.

As part of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Columbia County Emergency Management has asked leaders in the human services and spiritual areas of the community for help, Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., said in the Saturday, April 18 Covid-19 update press release.

Those involved include Director of Human Services Michael Cole; Mental Health Center Deputy Director Dan Almasi; Human Services Planner/Contract Manager Melissa Scheriff; Mental Health Association of Columbia and Greene Counties Mobile Crisis Assessment Team Coordinator Katherine Oldakowski; Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Deacon Warren Dorsch; and the Reverend Kim Singletary, pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church—Hudson/Overcomers Ministries International.

Owing to the obvious concern with the virus and New York State emergency orders associated with it, the process when someone passes away has changed to include limitations on being with a loved one in the hospital, making funeral arrangements, and organizing and attending services. The crisis itself, along with losing a close friend, a family member, a first responder or healthcare provider, who has dealt with those who have passed away, can cause additional emotional and/or spiritual distress.

The logistical process may also be difficult for a person making arrangements, such as travel difficulties when signing and exchanging documents with a funeral director.

Information on where someone can reach out for help is posted on various websites, including the Columbia County website and Emergency Management Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/columbiacountyemergencymanagementoffice/.

“When we reached out to these professional and spiritual leaders, they immediately came together to discuss the unique emotional and spiritual effects Covid-19 may cause when someone close passes away. I appreciate their cooperation and work to help county residents,” Mr. Harrison said in the release.

The Columbia County Department reports an 11th person has died of the coronavirus in the county as of April 18 at 2:30 p.m.

There are 111 positive cases of Covid-19; 53 of the 111 cases have recovered from Covid-19; 9 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 2 of those are in the ICU.

The department has received 852 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 86 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 12 under precautionary quarantine. There are 2 residents with suspected, not tested cases.

For the most up-to-date, accurate information visit the County Department of Health’s website athttps://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.

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