Public should take precautions when disposing of garbage

HUDSON—“We have been extremely busy” during the coronavirus crisis, said Columbia County Solid Waste Department Director Jolene Race in the county’s April 24 press release update on Covid-19.

All county solid waste stations are operational with no change in staffing or hours, with the exception of extended hours at the Hillsdale, Livingston and Germantown stations.

“If you have been diagnosed with the virus, please make sure your garbage is double-bagged and secured tightly, with no loose waste. Wait one week prior to disposing of your garbage at the station. At this time, we ask that you treat your recyclable material as garbage, as studies have shown the virus tends to live on plastic and other surfaces for a longer period of time. If you are self-isolating and have not been diagnosed with the virus, wait a minimum of three days before having someone take it to a station. When you arrive at the station, please dispose of the garbage yourself,” Ms. Race said in the release. There will be attendants available at the stations to direct people as to where the waste and recyclables are to be deposited.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection event, scheduled for next week, has been canceled and tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, October 31, at the county highway garage in Greenport. In addition, the Solid Waste roll-off service is suspended until further notice for clean outs and homeowner renovations.

The Columbia County Solid Waste website can be accessed through via the “departments” tab.

“I would like to give a big shout-out to the essential county employees who are keeping this vital service operating. They are performing a difficult job under trying conditions,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the April 24 release.

According to Columbia County Department of Health data as of April 24 at 3 p.m., Columbia County has had 13 community members that have died from Covid-19; 142 positive cases of Covid-19; 72 of the 142 cases have recovered from the virus; 11 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 3 of those hospitalized are in the ICU. The health department has received 1,060 completed test results for Columbia County residents;139 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 19 under precautionary quarantine.

Columbia County has received new monetary donations toward the purchase of additional coronavirus testing kits, the chairman said Friday. Prior donations from the public amounted to $28,285. Since then, a total of $850 has been donated: $100 from Mary Anne Cohen; $500 from James and Lanita Kunus; Carl Riskin, $100; $100 from Melvin and Aura Lev; $25 from Jennifer Allison; and $25 from Adam Charbonneau.

“The generosity shown by the public in this fight against the coronavirus has been wonderful. The money is very helpful as we look to do as much testing as possible in the county,” Mr. 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 for the purchase of much-needed equipment for emergency responders, medical personnel and others on the front lines of the coronavirus fight can be sent via check in care of Columbia County, with coronavirus noted in the memo field. Mail the check to the Columbia County Controller’s Office, 401 State Street, Hudson 12534. All money received is being placed in a dedicated account.

A hotline has been established for the elderly and vulnerable in the 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.

For the most up-to-date, accurate information visit the County Department of Health’s website at or their Facebook page at The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be found at

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