25 virus victims now; testing clinics upcoming

HUDSON—A 25th person has died of the coronavirus in Columbia County, the Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) reported May 15 as of 2 p.m.

Of those 25 deaths, 5 have been from the community, 11 have been residents of Pine Haven, and 9 have been residents of Barnwell.

In all the county has had 339 positive cases of Covid-19; 150 of the 339 cases have recovered from the virus; 16 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 2 of those hospitalized are in the ICU. The county has received 2,915 completed test results Columbia County residents; 150 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 5 under precautionary quarantine.

Confirmed positive cases

The breakdown of total confirmed, positive cases of Covid-19 in Columbia County by town and nursing home as of Friday, May 15 follows: Ancram 5, Canaan 9, Chatham 12, Claverack 8, Clermont 4, Copake 14, Germantown 7, Ghent 16, Greenport 13, Hillsdale 8, Hudson 32, Kinderhook 30, Livingston 8, New Lebanon 4, Stockport 1, Stuyvesant 9, Livingston Hills 2, Pine Haven 36, Barnwell 121.

Testing clinics

The next three mobile testing clinics will take place:

*May 27, Walk-up clinic on the sidewalk in front of John L. Edwards, 360 State Street, Hudson, 10 a.m. to noon, (https://forms.gle/tVzJwqHoTbBeB1Tj8)

*June 2, Walk-up clinic on the sidewalk in front of John L. Edwards, 360 State Street, Hudson, 10 a.m. to noon, (https://forms.gle/uF6z7FCd4VYAdHjc9)

*June 7, Drive through at the Chatham Fairgrounds, 182 Hudson Avenue, Chatham, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (https://forms.gle/w93576mqsXnKQXoU6).

These tests will be taken via nasopharyngeal swabs which are most useful to detect the virus in actively sick people. The kits used at these testing sites are part of those purchased with generous private donations to Columbia County.

Symptoms most typical of cases of Covid-19 include the following: fever, cough, trouble breathing, loss of taste or smell and/or any symptoms consistent with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

The health department recommends the anyone feeling these symptoms be tested for Covid-19. Residents who would like to be tested are asked to fill out the online screening form.

On May 27 the department will conduct 50 Covid-19 tests. DOH staff will call or email residents who’d like to be tested and will provide them with their appointment time and PIN number. PIN number and a form of identification should be brought with them to the testing site. Residents being tested are asked to wear their face masks to the testing site and adhere to all social distancing protocols of remaining six-feet from all other residents being tested.

After leaving the test site, residents should go directly home for mandatory quarantine until results are shared with them. Those who are tested should plan to self-quarantine for up to 14 days and will receive self-quarantine guidelines at the collection site. It may take a few days to receive the test results. Everyone who gets tested at the site will receive their results once they are processed by Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany.

Law enforcement will be on-site along EMS services. There will be signs and law enforcement managing and directing vehicle and foot traffic flow. These restrictions have been put in place to protect the staff working this event.

New supply of cloth masks received

Columbia County Emergency Management Director David W. Harrison, Jr., said earlier this week that his office had received a delivery of 11,000 cloth masks from New York State. The masks have been divided and delivered to the municipalities within the county.

“County residents should look to their towns, villages and the City of Hudson for cloth masks when needed. We thank the town and city supervisors and the mayors for their cooperation,” Director Harrison said.

In addition, said Director Harrison, “The food pantries in our county have been busy—we would like to remind people that any donations of food should go to the local food pantries and to the county Office for the Aging.”

New financial donations

Columbia County has received new monetary donations toward the purchase of coronavirus testing kits, Chairman Murell said in the May 15 press release. Prior donations from the public amounted to $31,630.

Since then, a total of $645 has been received: $50 from Henry and Kim Meade and $595 from Erin Hawker and Jonathan Furay, who conducted a neighborhood fundraiser. “Once again, I can’t thank everyone enough for their generous support in the fight against the coronavirus,” said Chairman Murell.

Yard sales

As the weather begins to improve, the county has fielded calls about whether yard sales are currently allowed under New York State guidelines, the chairman said May 15.

“I’m sorry to say that despite the rich history of yard sales in Columbia County, they are not allowed—they are considered retail operations, which fall under Phase 2 of the state’s four-phase reopening plan,” said Chairman Murell.

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