Tenth person succumbs, building closure extended

HUDSON—A tenth person has died of the coronavirus in Columbia County and the closure of county buildings to the public has been extended through May 1. Departments deemed essential will continue to be staffed.

“As we have in the past, we continue to proceed in two-week increments as we continually re-examine our options as the virus works its way around the county,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in his April 15 Covid-19 update press release.

In addition to the latest virus-related death as of April 15 at 2:45 p.m., the Columbia County Health Department reported 100 positive cases of Covid-19; 42 of the 100 cases have recovered from Covid-19; 10 of the positive cases are hospitalized; 3 of those are in the ICU. The department has received 752 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 84 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 16 under precautionary quarantine. There are 6 residents with suspected, not tested cases.

In anticipation of the delivery of 1,000 test kits at the end of this week, the county Department of Health (DOH) is working through various scenarios for how testing will be conducted in the community.

These test kits are Thermo Fisher kits, which are one of the 29 FDA-approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) kits currently available, according to DOH Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Chuck Kaiser.

“We continue to look into serologic rapid test kits, and look forward to when one or more of these kits become FDA approved. Once these approved serologic test kits are readily available, they will help provide, along with the RNA tests, much-needed information on how the virus is affecting the community, and what type of immunity might be developing,” he said in the April 15 release.

With the addition of $5,000 received this week from the Home for the Aged; to date, Columbia County has received a total of $26,150 in public donations to be applied toward the coronavirus fight, said Mr. Murell.

Along with the $5,000, $10,000 each has been donated by Jack Shear and by Michael and Anne Golden, $1,000 by Fingar Insurance, $100 from Geraldine Keller, and $50 from Richard and Catherine Draper.

“We couldn’t be more appreciative for the donation of these funds. The money has been very helpful with the purchase of our first round of test kits, and will certainly be useful in a similar regard going forward,” Mr. Murell said.

Financial donations toward the purchase of much-needed equipment for emergency responders, medical personnel and others on the front lines of the coronavirus fight, should be send 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.

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.

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.

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