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Contact tracers needed; 27 now dead of virus

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HUDSON—Another Columbia County resident has died of Covid-19 bringing the total number of deaths in Columbia County to 27 as of May 18 at 3 p.m., according to the Columbia County Department of Health (DOH).

There have been 345 positive cases of the coronavirus in the county; 160 of the 345 cases have recovered from the virus; 16 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 2 of those hospitalized are in the ICU.

The DOH has received 3,167 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 153 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 5 under precautionary quarantine at this time.

Be a contact tracer

The Capital Region, which includes Columbia County, needs 166 contact tracers as of May 18 in order to meet the state requirement to begin re-opening its economy under New York Forward metrics set forth by Governor Cuomo.

“The Capital Region has hit six of the seven metrics. I think we’ll be able to start re-opening under Phase One of the plan at some point this week,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the county-issued Covid-19 update press release May 18.

Mr. Murell has been meeting daily with the chief elected officials of the Capital Region with an eye on what needs to be accomplished in order to begin getting the economy re-started. The Capital Region is composed of Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Columbia and Greene counties. Information on the metrics used to determine when a region is eligible to resume business activities can be found at https://forward.ny.gov

Workplace safety

For essential workers on the frontlines during the coronavirus crisis, county leaders reiterated words of the New York State Department of Labor: “Governor Cuomo enacted a law that provides benefits—including sick leave, paid family leave and disability benefits—to New York employees impacted by mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19. If your employer does not comply with this law, you have the right to file a complaint. If you work for a non-essential business, you may not be forced to go to the worksite or otherwise threatened if you do not work at a place other than your home.”

A set of reasons under which a complaint may be filed and a link for filing a complaint is available at https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm

Three virus testing clinics set

The Columbia County Department of Health has set a new testing clinic date for Sunday, June 10 at the Columbia County Fairgrounds, 142 Hudson Avenue (Route 66), Chatham, Director Jack Mabb said May 17. Further details will be announced.
Previously, the DOH announced a pair of clinics at the John L. Edwards Elementary School, 360 State Street, Hudson, Wednesday, May 27 and Tuesday, June 2, both from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“I would like to stress that although we are looking for individuals who are symptomatic for the Edwards clinics, or who have experienced symptoms in the recent past, we will gladly accept any essential worker who would like to be tested regardless of whether or not they have symptoms,” said Director Mabb. “The Chatham clinic will be open to everyone.”
Sign-up instructions and further instructions regarding the John L. Edwards clinics can be found on the health department’s website www.columbiacountynyhealth.com or by calling 518-828-3358.

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 https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/home/coronavirus-covid-19 or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Columbia-County-Department-of-Health-469399129790791/. The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.

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