Wear a mask in public, it’s required

HUDSON—The use of simple face masks, cloth masks or bandannas while out in public and closer than six feet from another person is now a requirement in New York State, the Columbia County Health Department (DOH) reminded county residents in the county’s April 27 Covid-19 update press release.

“The purpose of using these masks is to protect each other from one another when out in public. They provide a barrier from one expelling the virus out into the air and thus infecting other people. Therefore, they can be an effective tool in helping to reduce the spread,” county DOH Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Chuck Kaiser said in the release.

Everyone should be aware of the following guidelines regarding the use of these masks:

*You should make sure your mask covers both your mouth and your nose

*If using a surgical or procedural mask, make sure the metal nose clip is contoured to your nose

*Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based (at least 60%) hand sanitizer, or soap and water

*Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it gets wet or becomes soiled. It’s best not to reuse single-use masks such as surgical, procedural or paper masks.

*Masks can only be reused by the same person and should be kept in a paper (not plastic) bag in between uses. Cloth masks and bandannas should be washed and dried daily. If you sneeze or cough in your mask you should replace it. If it is a cloth mask, then wash it and wear a different one until dry.

*Finally, when removing your mask or covering, it should be done from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); handle it by the straps or ties when discarding it or placing it in the storage bag. Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water.

“This guidance should help protect you and others while helping to extend the use of a mask,” Mr. Kaiser said.

The county DOH reports 13 deaths associated with the coronavirus as of April 27 at 3 p.m. The number of deaths in Columbia County has not increased in the past six days.

There are 154 positive cases of Covid-19; 81 of the 154 cases have recovered from Covid-19; 15 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 4 of those hospitalized are in the ICU.

The county has received 1,175 completed test results for Columbia County residents;146 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 22 under precautionary quarantine

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.

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