HUDSON—Early Wednesday, May 13, the Capital Region, of which Columbia County is a part, had hit six of the required seven metrics set forth by New York State in order for a region to begin re-opening its economy.
Then, later in the day, Governor Cuomo announced that the region had fallen back to satisfying just five of the necessary metrics, according to the county’s May 13 Covid-19 update press release.
“While we are disappointed at this news, I think we are closing in on the day when the seven metrics are met and we are able to begin opening Columbia County under Phase One of the state’s plan. Everyone is [eagerly] anticipating that day,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the release.
Reiterating his statement from earlier this week, Chairman Murell said, “Just because we hit May 15, the latest deadline set by the state’s NY ON PAUSE plan, it doesn’t mean that businesses can simply open their doors and resume business as usual. We have to follow the Executive Order or there will be penalties. As much as we might look forward to businesses being allowed to open, Columbia County cannot go it alone.”
Chairman Murell said in the Wednesday release that the closure of county buildings to the public has been extended through May 22. Departments deemed essential will continue to be staffed and will accept appointments from the public.
“Although in the past we have extended building closures in two-week increments, we are now planning to proceed one week at a time, with an eye to being able to quickly open up when the state gives us the go-ahead,” the chairman said.
In addition, the State of Emergency currently in effect in Columbia County has been extended to June 15.
The Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) reports that the number of deaths due to the coronavirus stands steady at 24 as of May 13 at 3 p.m.
In all, 328 people here have tested positive for Covid-19; 144 of the 328 cases have recovered from the virus; 8 of the positive cases are hospitalized, none of those hospitalized are in the ICU. The DOH has received 2,556 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 159 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 7 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.