Death toll reaches 20; county gets ready to re-open

HUDSON—Twenty Columbia County residents have died of the coronavirus as of May 10 at 12:30 p.m., according to the county Department of Health (DOH).

There have been 326 positive cases of Covid-19 with 127 of the positive cases having recovered from the virus. Six of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those hospitalized is in the ICU; 2,408 completed test results have been received by the DOH; 182 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 14 under precautionary quarantine.

A county committee is examining re-opening needs here.

“When we are given the okay by the state, we want to be immediately prepared to open up the county for business. We are aggressively pursuing what we need to have in place when that day comes,” Austerlitz Town Supervisor Rob Lagonia said in the county’s coronavirus update press release for May 10.

Mr. Lagonia chairs a committee charged with this task. Also on the committee is Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb, Hudson First Ward Supervisor Sarah Sterling, County Director of Human Resources Michaele Williams-Riordan, County Clerk Holly Tanner and County Director of Facilities Brian McDonald.

A poll put together by the committee designed to gain a full understanding of various needs will be going out to county department heads this week, Mr. Lagonia said in the release.

In the meantime, a combination of disposable masks and cloth masks have been ordered to help meet the anticipated need. “We have infrared thermometers on order—they’ll be part of what we’ll need to have people safely return to work. We are also working on what signage we’ll need to have in place in county buildings.”

“Our plan is to establish countywide protocols that address all the issues that make for a safe environment for both county employees and those who use their services,” Mr. Lagonia said.

Columbia Comeback, the committee recently established by Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell, made up of leaders from the local business and political world, will conduct its first meeting, Monday, May 11 at 1 p.m.

The meeting is open to the public and can be accessed via a link on the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (https://www.columbiaedc.com) website.

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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