Virus cases rise at Ghent Assisted Living

HUDSON—As of Monday morning, October 19, 24 residents of Ghent Assisted Living, 30 Whittier Way off Route 66, have tested positive for Covid-19 since the beginning of last week’s outbreak, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said in the Columbia County Board of Supervisor’s October 19 coronavirus-update press release.

The outbreak was initially reported in the county’s October 15 press release. At that time, five residents were hospitalized, and one resident, who was hospitalized, had died. This marked the 38th person to succumb to the coronavirus in Columbia County.

Ten residents had tested positive for the virus, five of whom were in the hospital, one in the ICU. Read more…

Governor may make flu shots mandatory

HUDSON—As schools return to session and life begins to move indoors following a summer of outdoor activities, Governor Cuomo stated that he may consider making the flu vaccine mandatory for all school-age children. No final decision has yet to be announced.

“My office and the county Department of Health have received many inquiries about the possibility of the flu vaccine being made mandatory for school-age children, as well as what might happen when a Covid-19 vaccine is eventually developed and introduced to the public,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in a September 14 press release.

“I would like nothing more than to be able to answer all those questions in a complete fashion, but in many ways our situation is very similar to that of the public’s, in that frequently we learn what the governor and national public health officials have in mind at roughly the same time. Our policy has been and remains to keep the public informed on all matters relating to the coronavirus pandemic. If nothing else, county residents can be assured that we will tell you what we know as soon as we know it,” Chairman Murell said in the release. Read more…

Flu shots are here, go to a drive-through

HUDSON—The Columbia County Department of Health has received the seasonal flu vaccine and has scheduled community drive-through clinics for all Columbia County residents two-years and older who want a flu shot.

Pre-registration is required to receive a flu shot.

Those who do not register ahead of time, cannot be vaccinated at their clinic of choice. Read more…

BUSINESS: Salvation Army, Stewart’s Shops, ShopRite

Salvation Army Family Stores set to reopen

HUDSON – The Salvation Army is set to open its stores in the New York Capital Region on June 3. The stores closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but are now ready to welcome shoppers with bargain-priced clothing, household items, electronics, books, toys, furniture and collectables.

The stores employ approximately 100 people who are anxious to return and—thanks to donations from the community—provides assistance for people who are struggling with alcohol, drugs, and other life issues, since revenues from the Family Stores support the charity’s rehabilitation center. The center offers services free of charge, and sales from the Family Thrift stores are its sole source of funding. The rehabilitation center has remained open throughout the pandemic without its usual funding. Families in need also receive vouchers for free furniture or clothing from the stores through other Salvation Army programs.

“Our rehabilitation center has been operating throughout the pandemic, and our expenses have carried on. We’re excited to reopen for that reason, but we’ve also heard from our customer and donors that they’re anxious to return, as well, and we look forward to welcoming them back,” Major Joy Labbe who oversees The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Albany, said in a press release. Read more…

Urgent need for blood as hospital demand increases

GERMANTOWN—The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In recent weeks, hospital demand for blood products has grown by 30% after sharply declining in early April amid this rapidly changing and complex public health crisis. At the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled as many businesses and community organizations remain closed. Donors are needed to make and keep scheduled appointments to help meet the current need. Read more…