GNH Lumber-Outdoor Living-JUNE 2024

29th virus victim dead; Phase 1 re-opening underway


HUDSON—The Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) reports the death of the 29th Columbia County resident due to the coronavirus as of May 20 at 3 p.m.

The county has had 353 positive cases of Covid-19 (one of the positive cases reported yesterday actually belonged to another county); 165 of the 353 cases have recovered from the virus; 18 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those hospitalized is in the ICU.

The DOH has received 3,526 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 156 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 4 under precautionary quarantine.

Phase 1 is here

Columbia County and the Capital Region is busy navigating the first days of the reopening the economy under Phase 1 of New York State’s New York Forward Plan, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the county’s May 20 Covid-19 update press release.

“There’s definitely some confusion in terms of what businesses and individuals can and can’t do as we begin to emerge from New York on PAUSE,” said the chairman. “For businesses looking to reopen under Phase 1, a reopening plan must be completed and available on premises for health authorities before the business can open.”

Phase 1 includes construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup; agriculture, forestry and fishing; as well as low-risk business and recreational activities, including drive-in movie theaters and some outdoor activities. Guidelines and templates relating to reopening plans can be found at

Also, New York State has recently added a “Reopening Tool,” designed to let businesses know when they may reopen in a particular region. It can be accessed at

As for individuals heading out into public spaces, little has changed, Chairman Murell said in the release. Masks covering the nose and mouth, as well as maintaining social distancing standards, are still required. One thing that does change is gatherings of 10 people or less, which are now permitted.

Food distributed

Tuesday, May 26 from 10 a.m. until the food is gone, local food pantries and Catholic Charities will distribute food, fresh fruit, vegetables, and other items at the Columbia County Fairgrounds 142 Hudson Avenue (Route 66), Chatham.

Organizers ask that no one arrive until 10 a.m. to prevent large crowds. Those in vehicles are asked to remain in them, while pedestrians are reminded to practice social distancing. “Adhering to these instructions will allow us to distribute food in a timely fashion,” said organizers.

Donations welcome

Anyone who wants to donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, face shields, and gowns, are advised to contact the Emergency Management Office at 518-828-1212. If there is no answer, leave a message and someone will return the call.
Food donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging 518-828-4258 and local pantries.
Monetary donations for the purchase of much-needed equipment for emergency responders, medical personnel and others on the front lines of the coronavirus fight can be sent via check in care of Columbia County, with coronavirus noted in the memo field. Mail the check to the Columbia County Controller’s Office, 401 State Street, Hudson 12534. All money received is being placed in a dedicated account.
A hotline has been established for the elderly and vulnerable in the county, including those with medical conditions or who are disabled and would welcome a deputy checking on their well-being on a daily basis. The number for the hotline is 518-828-0601 X 1400.
For the most up-to-date, accurate information visit the County Department of Health’s website at or their Facebook page at The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be found at

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