It’s been a fast and furious couple of weeks as we pivot our offices to working remotely and practicing social distancing.  We have the following to report:

Columbia County COVID-19 cases

To date:

  • 97 positive cases, 40 out of 97 have recovered
  • 101 residents are currently under mandatory quarantine, 23 under precautionary quarantine
  • 9 community members have passed away, 10 are hospitalized, with 4 in intensive care
  • 726 case results completed for Columbia County
  • One confirmed case in Canaan

Stay at home and social distancing orders are flattening the curve locally, please continue to follow these orders until further notice.

If you are following this information closely, daily updates are available from the Columbia County Department of Health website,

Closures Continue

The Town Hall remains closed to the public until April 30, or until the governor allows us to re-open for business. Access to town services may take a little longer as we, and our partner agencies, are working remotely. The clerks are available by phone or email and are replying to requests as quickly as they can. All meetings, until further notice, will take place via Zoom.

The Town Garage remains closed to the public for the same period. Bernie & his crew have moved to summer hours and are working on spring road rejuvenation, grading & ditching, activities that allow for social distancing.

The Town Court remains closed; all matters are administratively adjourned until further notice.


Canaan  residents , as usual, are ready & willing to help their neighbors. We have a list of neighbors ready & willing to help with shopping or transportation to services. We need your help to identify neighbors who may need a helping hand, be it services, food, or other needs. Please email , and we’ll match the caller with a volunteer or service.

Meals on Wheels deliveries continue thanks to Jean Stelling & her intrepid crew, Gary Flaherty, Jean Nebesar, Jeannette O’Brien and Marcie Kammerer.Stephanie Guelpa, our Senior Lunch Program coordinator, is staying in touch with seniors that attend that program. She has also made masks for seniors who need one. 

Neighbors have been making masks for neighbors, fire companies, rescue squads, CMH , nursing homes and the Berkshire Farm Center foster care, adoption and secured facilities. Neighbors, and community partners Camp Pontiac in Copake, and Columbia County Habitat for Humanity, have donated over 400 masks to CMH, nursing homes, and Berkshire Farm Center programs.

The Transfer Station is open regular hours. Due to unusually high demand, maintenance permits will be limited to two per household for the immediate future.

The Town Park remains open, with the exception of the playground equipment.  Information suggests that users are from single households respecting social distancing.  The park is being monitored; as long as social distancing is being observed,  the park will remain open, again, with the exception of the playground equipment.

Of Further Note

We continue to ask anyone migrating from outside Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days. “Everyone should consider they are a carrier of the coronavirus” said Matt Murrell, Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors. We ask all community members who may have additional visitors, including family & friends,  or rental properties to convey this message to their guests,  prior to and upon arrival. 

The Columbia Paper, our paper of record, has discontinued its print edition for the foreseeable future. If you have a question, or require assistance in locating information or resources, please check the town website or call the Town Hall, or me, and we’ll try to fill the gap.

The Town and County have begun looking at their 2020 budgets with the goal of reducing expenses across all departments. At the county there is a hiring freeze for non-essential  personnel,  all departments have been asked to reduce expenses in anticipation of a decline in revenues.  In town, our largest expense is roads. Bernie is re-evaluating his equipment and project plans many of which will be suspended for at least the immediate future.

Census counts are underway, the majority of  town residents will have received either an invitation to respond online or by phone or a paper invitation by the end of the month. This is a good time to complete this task, especially online or by phone which is much safer than a home visit. If you have any questions about this process,  visit or call Rebecca Ann Brodeur at 518-951-9984.  

The April 23rd Presidential Primary has been re-scheduled for June 23rd.  The governor has indicated there will be greater access to absentee ballots; COVID-19 will be one of the eligibility factors for obtaining a ballot. More on this as the Board of Elections unpacks the governor’s order and prepares  for an election in this environment.

Lastly, Thank you for being good neighbors, in the very best sense of the word.

Take care, be well,


Brenda Adams


Town of Canaan, NY