Health dept. reports fifth death, sees testing trend

HUDSON—A fifth person has died of Covid-19 in Columbia County as of April 9 at 3 p.m. Additionally the Columbia County Health Department reports:
*83 positive cases of Covid-19
*32 of the 83 cases have recovered from Covid-19
*9 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those is in the ICU
*558 completed test results have been received 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 department has created charts representing the information reported in their daily updates that can be viewed at https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/…/coronavirus-covid…/

With more than 500 coronavirus tests administered to county residents, the current number of 80 positives is yielding a positive/negative ratio of roughly one in seven, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said in the Covid-19 update press release issued by Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt B. Murell, Thursday, April 9.

“That’s similar to what we’ve been seeing in other areas. Keep in mind that we haven’t been testing anyone who’s not symptomatic or otherwise has had contact with someone with Covid-19. Social distancing has definitely helped the situation,” Mr. Mabb said in the release.

“This time of year can also sow confusion. People have colds, the flu is still around, it’s allergy season—all these things are going on at the same time and doesn’t always make it easy to distinguish what’s going on,” he said.

The county Health Department anticipates delivery late next week of 1,000 test kits, which were ordered Wednesday.

Mr. Mabb said he is looking forward to the opportunity to conduct more extensive testing in the county. He said his department will work with Columbia Memorial Health to set up and conduct community testing locations. Further information regarding the testing will be forthcoming as plans are developed.

At the Columbia County Office for the Aging (OFA), Administrator Kevin McDonald said Thursday that while all county meal sites are closed until further notice, Meals on Wheels continues to deliver.

“All we ask is that recipients put a small table or chair outside near their front door—we’ll ring the bell, back up, and wait for someone to appear,” he said in the release.

Earlier in the coronavirus crisis, OFA distributed a week’s worth of shelf-stable meals to its Meals on Wheels recipients, and now plans to send out another round this coming week, according to Mr. McDonald.

“The shelf-stable meals are in case something happens and we are unable to get a hot meal to them, that they’ll still have something on hand to eat. A sizable grant from the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation has allowed us to do this second round. We thank them for that.” In addition, Mr. McDonald said, “I can’t thank enough our kitchen crew and our volunteers. They have all been doing incredible work.”

An OFA staff member is present in that office every weekday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m for those seniors seeking assistance. The telephone number is 518-828-4258.

In the midst of coronavirus battle, county officials took a moment Thursday to issue a heartfelt “thank you” to all those whose efforts are critical on the front lines.

“Not only do we recognize the heroic work being done by healthcare personnel, emergency first responders and the like, but we acknowledge all the essential workers in grocery stores, school employees, utility workers and others who are working day-in and day-out to ensure that life can continue to go on as normally as possible. People are doing amazing work under the most trying of circumstances,” Chairman Murell said in the release.

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.

To contact the newly-established hotline for the elderly and vulnerable in the county, including those with medical conditions or who are disabled, who would welcome a deputy checking on their well-being on a daily basis, call 518-828-0601 X 1400.

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 at: https://www.facebook.com/Columbia-County-Department-of-Health-469399129790791/

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