Illegal fireworks + dry conditions = bad mix; 2 workers test positive

HUDSON—“As we approach the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I would like to remind everyone that the use of illegal fireworks can not only bring on an arrest, but with the drought conditions we are experiencing, may cause a fire,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the county-issued Covid-19 update press release July 1.

In Columbia County, it is illegal to buy or use any type of fireworks.

“A fire has the potential to cause damage to property and people. This reckless disregard of the law forces local fire departments to unnecessarily expend their resources. The little bit of recent rain that has fallen has done virtually nothing to alleviate the dry conditions,” Chairman Murell said in the release.

The Drought Early Warning Update, issued in partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), shows concern for drought expansion and intensification within the Northeast United States based on recent conditions and the forecasts and outlooks. Currently, the northeast section of Columbia County is experiencing a D1 (short-term) drought, with the rest of the county designated as abnormally dry.

Two county workers test positive

Columbia County plans to return to 100% of its workforce Monday, July 6, following the phased reopening plan originally put in place.

“While we have had two county employees test positive for Covid-19, we think it’s important that all our departments go to full staffing. Nothing changes about how to fight this virus: wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, wear a face mask, and maintain social distancing. It’s clear that these practices work,” said Chairman Murell.

“Meanwhile, the county’s message continues to be, if you feel sick, do not come to work. Get yourself tested and isolate until you learn the result. I know that in the past, people have been urged to work their way through an illness, but that is not a practical approach in this environment. We must keep our guards up,” he added.

States added to quarantine list

July 1, Governor Cuomo stated that an additional eight states have been placed on the New York quarantine list. Those individuals coming to New York from the following states are required to quarantine for 14 days: California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

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