More nursing homes get test kits, 17th virus death recorded

HUDSON—Ghent Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (formerly Whittier Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center), 1 Whittier Way off Route 66, Ghent and the FASNY Firemen’s Home, 125 Harry Howard Avenue, Hudson have requested coronavirus test kits from the Columbia County Department of Health (DOH).

“Whittier has asked for 180 testing kits, which will be sufficient to test its current resident population of 113 and its staff,” County DOH Director Jack Mabb reported in the Thursday, May 7 county-issued Covid-19 update press release. “The Firemen’s Home has also asked for enough kits to test its residents and staff. Both facilities will have the kits they requested by the end of the day today,” said Mr. Mabb.

Another five positive Covid-19 cases have turned up since yesterday among the residents of The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell, 3230 Church Street, Valatie. That brings to 117 the total residents who have tested positive, out of the 216 people who live there. More than 20 staff have also tested positive. All residents and staff are being tested at the facility, Mr. Mabb reported in the Thursday release.

A 17th Columbia County resident has succumbed to the coronavirus as of May 7 at 3 p.m., according to the latest figures released by the county DOH. There are 317 positive cases of Covid-19 in the county; 117 of the 317 cases have recovered; 8 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 4 of those hospitalized are in the ICU. The DOH has received 1,987 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 177 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 13 under precautionary quarantine.

All testing slots are full for the DOH/Columbia Memorial Health drive-through testing clinic scheduled for Friday, May 8 at Columbia-Greene Community College. Upcoming testing clinics will be announced when scheduled, said DOH Director Mabb.

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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