More than half of Barnwell residents have virus

HUDSON—The number of positive Covid-19 cases among residents of The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell, 3230 Church Street, Valatie jumped to 112 Wednesday, May 6, up from 70 just yesterday.

Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) Director Jack Mabb reported in the May 6 county-issued Covid-19 update press release that an additional 42 Barnwell residents have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of infected residents to 112 out of 216. More than half the nursing home residents are currently in the positive category, with more than 20 staff also having tested positive.

All residents and staff are being tested. The State Department of Health sent a team to assist with that process.

“The state has complete authority over all nursing homes,” said Director Mabb in response to recent inquiries regarding what authority the county DOH might have. “We help out where we can because they’re part of our county, but we have no authority over them,” Mr. Mabb said in the release.

Countywide as of May 6 at 3 p.m., 16 Columbia County residents have died of the coronavirus; there are 305 positive cases of the virus; 113 of the 305 cases have recovered from the virus; 11 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 4 of those hospitalized are in the ICU. The DOH has received 1,878 completed test results for Columbia County residents, 189 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 22 under precautionary quarantine.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the May 6 release, he has been asked to sit in on a weekly conference call involving leaders from Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Greene, Columbia, and Putnam counties.

“Although we are considered part of the Capital Region by the state, I think it is equally important that we keep up with what the Hudson Valley region counties are doing as we all look to the day when we can begin to restart economic activity in the county. This goes hand-in-hand with the Columbia Comeback initiative that I announced late last week. None of us can effectively do this alone,” Mr. Murell said.

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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