Virus claims 28th life, county re-opening soon


HUDSON—The Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) reports the death of the 28th Columbia County resident due to the coronavirus as of May 19 at 3 p.m.

The county has had 354 positive cases of Covid-19; 164 of the 354 cases have recovered from the virus; 19 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 1 of those hospitalized is in the ICU.

The DOH has received 3,353 completed test results for Columbia County residents; 153 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 5 under precautionary quarantine.

Phase I opening imminent

The Capital Region has achieved its goal of signing up a sufficient number of contact tracers, so the region is now poised to begin reopening business activity as outlined in Phase I of the state’s New York Forward plan. Contact tracers were the last of the seven metrics the Capital Region needed to reach before requesting state approval to begin the phased reopening.

“Since yesterday, we more than hit the number we needed under the plan—the new contact tracers are now undergoing the necessary training for the position. In the next day or two I expect that we will be able to begin reopening under Phase I in Columbia County,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the county’s May 19 Covid-19-update press release.

Information regarding when a region is eligible to resume business activities 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 The Columbia County Comeback Committee is available to help navigate re-opening at

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.

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