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 RedCrossBlood.org, 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…

BUSINESS: Comeback, Cromwell, Hudson Safe

Columbia makes a comeback, shop local

HUDSON – Columbia County Tourism and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Columbia County Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), announce a county-wide Shop Local Initiative to drive more sales from patrons in the county to local community businesses as part of Columbia Comeback.

The tri-agency partnership is working together to maintain a growing list of businesses offering take-out, delivery, online shopping and curbside pick-up in alignment with state guidelines. The aim of the initiative is to offset the loss of in-person revenue through increased online sales, take out, delivery, and curbside pick-up channels, which many businesses are utilizing to stay afloat during this unprecedented time.

Along with the use of local media and social media, the message will be on signs throughout the county indicating Columbia County Comeback and to Shop Local. Read more…

Rep., senators announce $640K+ for rural broadband

WASHINGTON, DC—There is $640,296 in funding for rural broadband deployment in Columbia and Greene counties, according to separate press releases, from Representative Antonio Delgado (D-19), and senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) awarded Mid-Hudson Data Corp. as part of the 12th wave of funding from the Connect America Fund Phase II Auction.

Mid-Hudson Data Corp. will provide high speed broadband service to 459 locations in three counties in upstate New York, two of which are Columbia and Greene. Mid-Hudson Data Corp. will receive the funding later this month.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the existing digital divide that leaves so many of our upstate businesses, students and seniors without access to affordable or reliable broadband internet. With many families spending more time at home and small businesses moving online, it is unacceptable that so many upstate communities are disadvantaged in this way. We have much more work to do to make sure our communities are able to be connected and ensure these technological investments are built to last,” Rep. Delgado said in a press release. Read more…

HEALTH: HHS distributes funding for nursing homes

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has begun distributing funding for Skilled Nursing Facilities across the country, following the urging of Congressman Antonio Delgado (D-19th) and 18 other members of Congress.

According to the announcement, Skilled Nursing Facilities will receive $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed. All certified nursing homes with six or more certified beds are eligible for this targeted distribution. These funds had been appropriated by Congress through the CARES Act and supplemental emergency relief legislation signed into law last month. Read more…