The nose knows

The third in a series of Covid-19 testing clinics in Columbia County was conducted Monday, June 1. The county Department of Health set up a pair of testing stations under the awning of the front door at the John L Edwards School building in Hudson. Candidates for testing could pre-register online at the DOH website, but the team also accepted walk-ins. Pictured being tested is Luella Harrow of Hudson, who works in the medical field and says that the test is necessary for her work. She has no signs or symptoms. Conducting the test is Columbia County Deputy EMS Coordinator Greg Fox. Assisting him is Janice Brodowski, RN. A fourth clinic will be a drive-through clinic at the Columbia County Fairgrounds, 142 Hudson Avenue (Route 66), Chatham, Sunday, June 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sign-up instructions and further instructions regarding the clinics can be found on the Health Department’s webpage on the Columbia County website or by calling 518-828-3358. Photo by David Lee

Alternative graduations get green light

HUDSON—The New York State Department of Health and Governor Cuomo have announced guidance for alternative graduation celebrations for school districts to consider, according to the June 5 Columbia County-issued Covid-19 press release.

Provided the guidance is strictly followed, school districts are cleared to proceed with graduation.

The new guidance is contrary to the previous state approach, which called for a local committee composed of the county’s chief elected official, the county DOH director, and the county Emergency Management director to review and approve a school’s graduation plan. Read more…

Surveyors will be working at Promenade Hill Park

HUDSON – On Monday, June 8, surveyors are scheduled to begin work at Promenade Hill Park. The surveyors will be taking measurements of the park to prepare for park improvements. Improvements include preserving historic features while providing access to park amenities and the views of the Hudson and the Catskills for people of all abilities.

“We need to ensure more people can access our public parks. Residents have been demanding park improvements for years and it’s great to be moving forward on this. I appreciate everyone who has contributed to this project,” Hudson City Mayor Kamal Johnson said in a press release.

The city asks all residents and visitors to be mindful of the workers at the park and help create a safe environment. Wear a mask and give them extra space.

Procedures put in place for reopening

HUDSON—Fifty percent of county staff return to onsite work Monday, June 8, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said this week, according to the county-issued June 4 Covid-19 update press release. Public accessibility to reopened buildings will begin Monday, June 15.

“Throughout the reopening process and going forward, the county’s first concern is to provide all employees and visitors with a healthy, productive, and safe working environment,” Chairman Murell said in the release.

Among the items in the extensive list of procedures and protocol, gleaned from Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health guidelines for conducting business, are the following: Read more…

3 school districts offer ‘drop-off’ voting

CHATHAM—Voters here and in the Hudson and Ichabod Crane School Districts will have two ways to cast their ballots in the school budget referendum and school board election June 9.

All voters must use absentee ballots forms, which include a postage-paid envelope to return marked ballots by mail. But the company that was printing and mailing blank ballots to voters for two of the three districts was delayed by what the Hudson website described as “supply shortages.”

Chatham was also affected by the shortage.

Ichabod Crane said all its ballots went out on time. Read more…

County disagrees with Gov. on summer camps

HUDSON—Columbia County officials continue to adhere to their earlier determination that summer camps should not open in 2020, though Governor Cuomo has given the go-ahead for summer camps to open beginning June 29.

“I don’t see how you can hold a summer camp while maintaining social distancing and other necessary safety measures related to the spread of the coronavirus. Because of that, the county holds to our original statement that summer camps remain closed this year. This decision was arrived at in consultation with the county Health Department,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the county-issued June 3 coronavirus update press release.

In a similar vein, Chairman Murell noted that as parents begin the return to work, child care is a critical need. “Child care services are considered an essential service under New York Forward (,” he said in the release. Read more…