Death toll at 37, next testing set

HUDSON—Thirty-seven Columbia County residents that have died from the coronavirus as of June 12 at 3 p.m.

The Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) has received a total of 7123 PCR test results with 414 confirmed positive cases.

There are currently 38 active cases of Covid-19 in Columbia County 339 of the 414 cases have recovered from Covid-19; 10 of the positive cases are hospitalized with no one in the ICU.

The DOH has received 1,906 antibody results, of which 157 were positive.

The following is the breakdown of positive cases by municipality and nursing home according to the DOH as of June 13: Ancram 3, The Grand at Barnwell 143, Canaan 9, Chatham 13, Claverack 15, Clermont 6, Copake 21, Craryville 1, Gallatin 3, Germantown 1, Ghent 21, Greenport 17, Hillsdale 11, Hudson 24, Kinderhook 24, Livingston Hills 2,

Livingston 12, New Lebanon 8, Niverville 2, Pine Haven 42, Philmont 5, Stockport 4, Stuyvesant 11, Taghkanic 6, Valatie 10 for a total 414. Learn more at

Mobile testing

Columbia County Department of Health announces that the next mobile testing clinic will be conducted in a Walk-up Clinic on the sidewalk in front of John L. Edwards, 360 State Street, Hudson, June 16, 9 to 11 a.m.

Pre-registration will not be necessary for this clinic. Be sure to bring a form of photo identification. Masks are required for entry.

The clinic will be limited to 50 tests. Anyone who would like to be tested should get to the clinic as early as possible to ensure they secure one of the 50 tests.

These tests will be nasopharyngeal swabs which are most useful to detect the virus in actively sick people. The kits used at these testing sites are part of those purchased with the help of private donations to Columbia County.

Symptoms most typical of cases of Covid-19 include the following: fever, cough, trouble breathing, loss of taste or smell and/or any symptoms consistent with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

It is recommended that anyone feeling these symptoms be tested for Covid-19.

After leaving the test site, symptomatic residents should go directly home for mandatory quarantine until results are shared with them. Essential workers should plan on quarantining outside of work and being extremely cautious around those they come into with.

It may take a few days to receive the test results. Everyone who gets tested at the site will receive their results once they are processed by Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany.

Law enforcement will be onsite along with EMS services.

Phase III summer camp guidance released

With Phase III of the New York Forward four-phase plan to reopen the Capital Region’s economy scheduled for Wednesday, June 17, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the June 10 county-issued coronavirus update press release that guidance from the state has begun to be released at

“This is good news for restaurants, food service, and personal care businesses covered under Phase III. I’ve been among those advocating for state guidance to come out more than a day or two before a phase was set to open, as happened with phases one and two,” said Chairman Murell.

State guidance regarding summer camps has also begun to appear, he noted. At the same time, the chairman repeated that county leadership, including the Health Department, strongly recommends against holding summer camp this year.

State provides businesses with hand sanitizer

County Emergency Management Director David W. Harrison, Jr., said in the June 10 release he had learned that New York State will soon be providing hand sanitizer for private businesses. Locally, it will be handed out at the Public Safety building in Greenport.

“We haven’t yet received a shipment, but in the meantime we are working out details for when it will be available for pickup,” said Director Harrison said. Details will be announced when they become available.

County buildings to open to public

Chairman Murell said June 10 that staff has begun returning to county buildings and preparing for public access Monday, June 15.

“Buildings will be staffed at 50%, with virus-related safety precautions in place for both employees and the public. Nonetheless, it is good to see some restoration of normal business activity,” said Chairman Murell.

New batch of testing kits ordered

Putting to use donated funds, Columbia County in conjunction with Columbia Memorial Health this week ordered 1,000 antibody test testing kits, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said June 12. The kits are expected to arrive in approximately two weeks.

“An extensive amount of research has gone into locating the right fit for our needs.

I’m happy to say we’re confident in the direction we’ve chosen,” said Chairman Murell.

“It’s good that we are able to get these antibody kits. We do expect to continue to use the nasopharyngeal swabs as we look for people who are positive and contagious at the time of the test, but many in the public want to know if the illness they had earlier this year, when testing wasn’t readily available, was Covid-19. That’s the value of these kits. There’s also great value in working with Columbia Memorial Health. They’re our partner in this and have been from the beginning of the crisis,” added Health Department Director Jack Mabb.

He explained that federal Food and Drug Administration regulations require that the county partner with a certified laboratory for purchase.

Guidance on garage sales

Garage and yard sales–as informal events for the sale of used goods by private individuals in residential settings–are permitted to operate so long as sellers ensure that (1) occupancy of the space used for the sale is limited to the number of people who can be safely and appropriate spaced such that each person is at least six feet away from others and, in no case, should the space be occupied by more than 10 people at any given time, in accordance with Executive Order 202.33, as extended; (2) appropriate face coverings must be used by people in areas or situations where they are likely to come within six feet of another individual, in accordance with Executive Order 202.17, as extended; and (3) adequate hand hygiene supplies (e.g. hand sanitizer) and regular cleaning/disinfection protocols are in place. Sellers may consult the New York Forward safety plan template for additional precautions that they should consider implementing during such sales.

County coronavirus releases cut to three weekly

Coronavirus-related press releases from Chairman Murell’s office will go to Monday, Wednesday and Friday distribution. Should newsworthy events occur on other days, the office will issue a release that day.

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