HUDSON—Friday, April 17, Columbia County officials decided to proceed with the purchase of another 1,000 Covid-19 testing kits.
This second order will be placed, even though county Department of Health officials learned yesterday, Thursday, April 16, that its initial order of 1,000 testing kits has been held up. That order is expected to be received next week.
So far, a total of $24,000 has been spent from the $26,150 donated to date for this purpose by private entities and county residents.
“Everyone involved in this Covid-19 crisis agrees that we need to do testing on a large scale if we expect to get ahead of it and get back to the new normal that Covid will bring,” county Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said in the county’s April 17 Covid-19 update press release.
“But it seems that the rural portions of the state have not been supported in obtaining kits. The generosity of our donors and the foresight of county leaders to move ahead with the purchase of additional kits beyond the first 1,000 kits shipment will go a long way in identifying the prevalence of the virus in our community,” Mr. Mabb said.
The health department reports the following number of confirmed, positive cases of Covid-19 in Columbia County by town. Those who do not have positive cases in their towns should not feel a sense of false confidence, according to the department. To slow the spread, people need to stay vigilant on prevention measures no matter where the positive, confirmed cases reside.
Cases by town/facility: Ancram 4, Canaan 1, Chatham 4, Claverack 2, Clermont 1, Copake 4, Germantown 4, Ghent 14, Greenport 5, Hillsdale 6, Hudson 18, Kinderhook 11, Livingston 3, New Lebanon 3, Stockport 1, Pine Haven Residents 26, Livingston Hills 1.
The County of Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell has ordered the extension of the closure of county buildings to the public through Friday, May 1 in an effort to protect the public and county employees. The following Essential Departments must report to the respective offices: 911, Communications, Sheriff, Corrections, Public Health, Office for the Aging, Highway, Solid Waste, MIS, Board of Elections, District Attorney, DSS, and Facilities. All other staff will be working from home as assigned by the their Department Heads.
The County Clerks office is open by appointment to process dealer work and necessary County Clerk work.
Those interested in donating masks should contact Austerlitz Town Supervisor and county Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Rob Lagonia at . “It doesn’t matter whether it’s five or 100, we need every one,” he said.
Anyone who wants to help out with mask donations should consult CDC guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
Currently, Ocean State Job Lot stores are offering free fabric for use in the construction of masks in a “Mask Fabric For Free” campaign. Visit any Ocean State location for the fabric, which is said to be of a high-quality cotton/polyester blend available in two sizes.
According to the Ocean State Job Lot website, “If you are making one mask, take a cloth napkin. If you are making multiple masks, take a tablecloth. You will find a display set up in each of our stores where you will find the fabric. Customers are limited to no more than five units of each fabric type to give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate. See a store leader with any questions. We have enough fabric for one million masks. Some stores are giving away fabric very quickly, so we’re working to replenish stores as they run low.”
The store asks that those picking up the free fabric to proceed through the checkout line as with any other purchase—the fabric will ring through the store’s point of sale for one cent. This allows Ocean State to track the amount of fabric it is giving away. There will be no charge.
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 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.