Health department reports 14th virus death here

HUDSON—A 14th Columbia County resident has died of Covid-19 according to information provided by the Columbia County Department of Health (DOH), May 3 as of 11:30 a.m.

The total number of deaths had been steady at 13 since April 22.

The first positive case of Covid-19 was reported by the DOH, March 20, there are now 217 positive cases of Covid-19; 98 of the 217 cases have recovered; 12 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 5 of those hospitalized are in the ICU. The DOH has received 1,529 completed test results for Columbia County residents;153 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 22 under precautionary quarantine.

In the Covid-19 update press release issued by the county May 3, Columbia County Department of Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Chuck Kaiser said two types of different SARS CoV-2 tests are currently available.

“One is biological testing for the virus, often known as ‘molecular’ testing and sometimes referred to as a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. These types of tests will determine if you have the virus by detecting nucleic acids and DNA sequences. They are a snapshot in time. You could test negative today and a couple days later test positive,” said Mr. Kaiser.

The other type of test is known as a serological, or “antibody” test, he continued. These types of tests look for the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies. Under the basic rules of virology, IgM antibodies are found soon after someone has been exposed to the virus. They are the first line of defense in a battle, he said in the release.

As the battle continues, IgMs are then joined by IgGs. As the body begins to win the war, IgGs become the most prominent. This gives one an idea of where the body is in its fight against the disease. High IgMs tend to indicate a recent and perhaps still current infection. High IgGs tend to indicate that the body has now overcome the virus and these soldiers are standing by in the event it presents itself again.

“However, this is if we can apply the normal virology rules to this virus. Remember, this is a novel (new) coronavirus that we still don’t know a lot about. Each type of testing provides information for the patient and for public health officials. Molecular testing will tell the person if the symptoms they are experiencing are indeed Covid-19. They will tell public health officials that these individuals need to be isolated and anyone having close contact with them will need to be quarantined. This is a containment technique that helps slow the spread,” Mr. Kaiser noted.

“Serologic testing will advise the patient that they may have been exposed to the virus and they may have developed an immunity. The ‘mays’ are noted because we can’t say for certain that this is true since it is a novel virus. As we learn more about this virus and additional information comes forth, this information will be helpful in deciding when and how to open up our communities,” he said.

As of Sunday morning, county Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., reported that 959,017 tests for Covid-19 had been administered statewide. Of that number, 312,977 yielded a positive result.

There are currently 10,350 individuals hospitalized, with 831 newly hospitalized. At this time, statewide 18,909 have died from the virus.

Columbia County has received new monetary donations toward the purchase of additional coronavirus testing kits, country Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the May 3 release. Prior donations from the public amounted to $29,405, he said.

Since then, a total of $2,225 in new donations has been received: $300 from Victoria Bloom, Hudson; $25 from Donald Marshall, Hudson; and $50 from Pamela Klauber, Columbiaville.

Also, $1,000 from Chase Bank; $100 from Kathy French-Costello, Elizaville; $150 from Maureen Moony, Valatie; $100 from David Miller, Ghent; and $500 from Holly Rappleyea, Valatie.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for their generous support in the fight against the coronavirus,” said Chairman Murell.

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 or their Facebook page at The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be found at

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