New hotline established by sheriff, virus numbers updated

HUDSON—A new hotline for “the elderly and vulnerable in our county, including those with medical conditions or are disabled,” who would welcome a deputy checking on their well-being on a daily basis was established by Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett, Friday, April 3.

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,” Sheriff Bartlett said in the coronavirus update press release issued by Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell, April 3.

Those with questions regarding the proper disposal technique for rubber gloves are advised to visit “David Bartlett, Columbia County Sheriff” on Facebook. In a 90-second video, the sheriff explains the correct procedure.

“These are difficult times, as we are all aware. I hope that county residents are able to take a moment or two in their day to keep in mind the positive things. Pick out something every day, whether it’s a cardinal at your bird feeder or a deer passing through your yard, and enjoy it. We will get through this,” he said in the release.

The Columbia County Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management said April 3 that they are currently in the process of vigorously researching coronavirus test kits in an effort to identify what will best serve the county’s needs.

In addition to seeking out the best price, “We will not purchase any kits that have not been FDA approved,” County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said in the release.

Earlier in the week, the county received a $10,000 donation from Jack Shear of Spencertown dedicated to the purchase of test kits.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has extended open enrollment for the uninsured to May 15. The DOH has allowed for navigators 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.

Also April 3, Chairman Murell said he and several county officials met via conference call with county supervisors, superintendents of the six county school districts, and Columbia-Greene Community College President Carlee Drummer.

“It’s important that everyone remain updated and on the same page during this crisis. Information is critical to help in the coronavirus fight,” said Mr. Murell.

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.

“County residents must continue to be vigilant in practicing social distancing and personal hygiene, including frequent hand washing. Even though COVID-19 has begun moving through Columbia County, we are nowhere near the peak of people we expect will eventually be infected. These simple actions will help not only you from contracting it, but from spreading it to someone else, including a loved one,” he said.

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:

Status of COVID-19 in Columbia County:

As of 5 pm on April 3, 2020, Columbia County has 58 positive cases of COVID-19.

Positive cases in Columbia County range from an infant of two months to a 88-year old.

Two individuals have died.

Seven of the positive cases remain hospitalized and two of those are in the ICU.

We have received 427 test results for Columbia County residents.

In Columbia County, 60 people are under mandatory quarantine and 22 under precautionary quarantine.

There are 9 residents with suspected, not tested cases.

Twenty-two Columbia County residents have recovered from COVID-19.
Breakdown of positive cases by towns: Ancram 2, Canaan 1, Chatham 4, Claverack 4, Clermont 1, Livingston 1, Germantown 4, Ghent 9, Hillsdale 4, Hudson 11, Kinderhook 5, New Lebanon 1, Pine Haven residents 11 in Philmont.

Test kits continue to be restricted to first responders, medical workers, and the seriously ill.

If you’re experiencing symptoms, call your healthcare provider.

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