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Virus cases rise at Ghent Assisted Living

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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.

In the October 15 release, Director Mabb said three staff members at the facility had also tested positive with more tests pending, he said.

In the updated October 19 release, Mr. Mabb said, 10 individuals are currently hospitalized, with two in the ICU. Two Ghent Assisted Living staff members have tested positive.

“The Ghent Assisted Living staff are working very hard to try to contain the virus,” said Director Mabb.

At the Brookwood Secure Center in Claverack, two staff members, both of whom reside in Columbia County, have tested positive. No residents have tested positive, according to the October 19 release.

The Columbia Girls Secure Center, at the same address as Brookwood, reports five youth and four staff members who

reside in-county have tested positive.

There are 10 additional staff members at the two centers who reside outside the county that have tested positive.

In the October 15 release, six staff members at the Brookwood Secure Center had tested positive; three are Columbia County residents, one lives in Greene County, one lives in Albany and another lives in Schenectady.

One female student had tested positive.

The county Department of Health reported 61 individuals are currently under mandatory quarantine.

“This recent outbreak shows that the virus is alive and well in the community, and it can have a serious impact on people. People have been asking if this is the second or third wave of the virus. To me, the virus never went away. It seems we’re seeing positive test results every morning these days,” Director Mabb said October 15.

“Recently, we had a 10-day break when there were no reported positives,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the October 15 release. “I think that was mostly a result of good fortune and that most county residents continue to remain vigilant about hand-washing, social distancing, and wearing their masks. As the cold weather arrives and we spend more time indoors, those three things remain critical.”

Director Mabb said that his staff has experienced increasing pushback from some residents in the community who resist being isolated or quarantined after having tested positive. “It’s unfortunate, but we have individuals in the community who appear to not take this disease seriously,” he said.

According to a previously-issued governor’s executive order, it is necessary for those who have tested positive to quarantine. Failure to comply with this order can result in legal action requiring monitored isolation.

“We haven’t done that so far because people have been self-compliant, but we may find ourselves in this position with those who don’t want to cooperate and not work with the Department of Health,” Director Mabb said.

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