Re-opening coming this week for Capital Region

HUDSON—Columbia County is on track to re-open this week, County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the county-issued Covid-19 update press release for May 17.

Mr. Murell has been meeting daily with the chief elected officials of the Capital Region with an eye on what needs to be accomplished to begin getting the economy restarted, he said in the May 17 release.

The Capital Region is composed of Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Washington, Warren, Columbia and Greene counties.

“We’ve been working hard to achieve the metrics the state is requiring us to reach before beginning to re-open the economy under the four-phase plan. Everyone is focused on how to make that happen as quickly as possible. I’m happy to say that as of today, it appears that the Capital Region will be able to begin reopening under Phase One of the plan this week as long as we meet the required number of contact tracers,” said Chairman Murell. Information on the metrics used to determine when a region is eligible to resume business activities can be found at

Columbia Comeback, the committee appointed by Chairman Murell to serve as a resource for local businesses, recently held its first meeting. Currently, Columbia Comeback’s Business Recovery Planning Survey is being conducted at

In its initial phases, Columbia Comeback will guide the implementation of the Governor’s Guidelines for the Phased Re-Opening, facilitate communication to ensure the safe reopening of businesses, and provide resources, guidance, and assistance to businesses as they work to ramp up to full operation, the chairman said in the release.

A separate committee of county leaders, chaired by Austerlitz Town Supervisor Rob Lagonia, is examining the needs of county workers and buildings when the time comes to re-open the county.

“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. 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,” according to Mr. Lagonia.

County-wide virus case numbers

The Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) reported the coronavirus death toll in Columbia County is 26 as of May 17 at 2 p.m. The number is the same as the day before.

There have been 344 positive cases of Covid-19 in the county with 156 of the 344 cases recovered from the virus; 17 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those hospitalized is in the ICU. The DOH has received 3,111 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 153 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 5 under precautionary quarantine

Statewide case numbers

New York State reported that 1,378,717 tests for Covid-19 had been administered statewide as of May 17. Of that number, 348,242 yielded a positive result.

There are currently 6,220 individuals hospitalized, with 400 newly hospitalized. At this time, statewide 22,478 have died from the virus, Columbia County Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., said May 17.

Third testing clinic set, open to non-symptomatic essential workers

The Columbia County Department of Health has set a new testing clinic date for Sunday, June 10 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds, 142 Hudson Avenue (Route 66), Chatham, Director Jack Mabb said May 17. Further details will be announced.

Previously, the DOH announced a pair of clinics at the John L. Edwards Elementary School, 360 State Street, Hudson on Wednesday, May 27, and Tuesday, June 2, both from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I would like to stress that although we are looking for individuals who are symptomatic for the Edwards clinics,

or who have experienced symptoms in the recent past, we will gladly accept any essential worker who would like to be tested regardless of whether or not they have symptoms,” said Director Mabb. “The Chatham clinic will be open to everyone.”

Sign-up instructions and further instructions regarding the John L. Edwards clinics can be found on the health department’s website or by calling 518-828-3358.

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