Attached is the most recent report from the Columbia County Board of Supervisors. In addition to the usual updates, there are a number of resources included within the report that may be of use to you.
There are two more local updates to report.
We were notified by the Office of Courts this week that courts will continue to be closed for the month of May. If you have any questions about the status of a court related matter, Court Clerk Darsi Frederick, is available by phone, 518-781-3749, or email , firstname.lastname@example.org .
Masks now available at the Town Hall
The CC Emergency Management Department has provided a supply of fabric masks for local residents. Masks are now required in public in situations where you are unable to maintain social distancing. If you need masks, they are available at no charge at the Town Hall. Please reply to this email and we’ll make arrangements to put masks outside for pickup. Pickups will be limited to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or by special appointment. We wish to thank the many local residents who have made and donated masks to emergency, rescue and essential personnel, friends, families, and neighbors. THANK YOU!
Stay safe, Brenda
HEALTHCARE CONSORTIUM WORK CONTINUES THROUGH VIRUS CRISIS
“The Healthcare Consortium continues to operate all of its programs and services during the COVID-19 outbreak, albeit in a slightly different way,” Executive Director Claire Parde said Thursday.
The Healthcare Consortium serves residents of Columbia and Greene Counties, typically from its main office in Hudson, as well as numerous other locations throughout the Twin Counties, Parde said. Though all in-person visits are suspended during this time, all Consumer Assistance Programs continue to function by phone at 518822-8820.
“One program that can be of special help at this time is our Navigator Program,” Parde said. “Unfortunately, many people have found that their employment situation has abruptly changed, and they may have lost hours, wages, or employer-sponsored health insurance coverage as a result.”
Maintaining health insurance coverage and the access to care it provides has never been more important, she said. The Healthcare Consortium is the New York State Department of Health’s contractor to administer the Navigator Program in Columbia and Greene Counties, and as such, is the official resource for health insurance enrollment through the NY State of Health (NYSOH), NY’s online marketplace for health insurance.
The Consortium’s four full-time certified Navigators can assist individuals and families shop for and enroll in health plans, including the public health insurance programs, Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus, and commercial self-pay programs, called Qualified Health Plans. Those whose circumstances have changed may very well find that they are newly eligible for financial assistance to obtain affordable coverage, Parde said. The NYSOH has extended the open enrollment period for the Qualified Health Plans to May 15.
“Last but not least,” Parde said, “our Children and Adults Rural Transportation Service, or CARTS, continues to provide non-emergency medical transportation to Columbia County residents of any age or ability. As you can imagine, both patients and healthcare providers are deferring non-essential appointments to later times whenever they can, but we continue to transport dialysis patients to and from their essential appointments multiple times per week, as well as anyone else whose appointments cannot be delayed.” The CARTS Program can be reached by calling 518-822-8020.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell
that he has planned a Friday meeting of local officials to look at the viability of summer camps this year. “We expect to issue guidance early next week on the advisability, or not, of conducting camps this summer,” said Murell.
JO-ANN FABRICS OFFERS CLOTH MASK KITS
With the ongoing push to outfit county residents with face coverings, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts is offering free mask kits, Greenport store manager Kayla Brink said Thursday.
“The kits are enough to make 10-12 masks out of 100 percent cotton fabric. For those seeking larger quantities, prior authorization needs to be obtained by calling the store,” she said. Those seeking to acquire a kit are advised to order online for curbside pickup. The Greenport store telephone number is 518-828- 2621. Current store hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Brink, who said the store has been distributing “at least 30 mask kits per day,” noted the store has been active with the program since March 28th. Overall, the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts chain has since donated more than 70 million masks.
Locally, Ocean State Job Lot stores are also offering free fabric for use in the construction of masks.
Those interested in donating masks should contact Austerlitz Town Supervisor and county Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Rob Lagonia at email@example.com.
INFORMATION FOR DONATIONS
MONETARY: Those wishing to make donations of 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 no one answers, 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 food pantries. Monetary donations intended for the purchase of much-needed equipment for emergency responders, medical personnel, and others on the front lines of the coronavirus fight are advised to send a check in care of Columbia County, with coronavirus noted in the memo field. The check can be sent to the Columbia County Controller’s Office, 401 State Street, Hudson, NY 12534. All money received is being placed in a dedicated account.
REMINDER OF SEVICES AVAILABLE
Family Assistance Network: As part of the ongoing
Columbia County Emergency Management has asked leaders in the human services and spiritual areas of our community for help, Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., said Saturday. The individuals were asked to form a Family Assistance Network to provide information to assist county residents who may be dealing with someone close to them who passed away as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Information on where someone can reach out for help is posted on various websites, including the Columbia County website and Emergency Management Facebook page.
Hotline For Elderly And Vulnerable: Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett has established a hotline for the elderly and vulnerable in our county, including those with medical conditions or are disabled, who would welcome a deputy checking on their well-being on a daily basis. The number for the hotline is 518-828-0601, extension 1400.
Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell continues to urge anyone migrating from outside Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. “Everyone should consider they are a carrier of the coronavirus,” said Murell.
It is the county’s intention to issue accurate information regarding the coronavirus situation under conditions that can change by the minute. For the most up-to-date, accurate information, visit the County Department of Health’s website at https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/home/coronaviruscovid- 19 or their Facebook page @: https://www.facebook.com/Columbia-County- Department-of-Health469399129790791/. The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.
The county will issue a daily press release on the coronavirus situation every afternoon at 4. The releases can be found on the Columbia County website and the Facebook pages of the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Health, and the Emergency Management Office.
Columbia County Emergency Management Family Assistance Network (FAN)
The purpose of this group is to provide emotional, spiritual and logistical support for residents who have non-health related COVID 19 related needs. Support providers for the FAN include spiritual leaders
religions and denominations and mental health
Emotional/Mental Health Support
Columbia County Department of Human Services/Mental Health Center:
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm
24/7 crisis line; Counseling services for children and adults offered remotely (telephone or video sessions); Care Coordination services for adults and children offered remotely; website resources
Mobile Crisis Assessment Team (MCAT) of the Mental Health Association of Columbia and Greene Counties, Inc.
Hours: 7 days/week 8am-10pm
Crisis counseling offered remotely; referrals to local services; wellness checks offered remotely
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division Phone: 518-828-1212
Website: https://www.facebook.com/columbiacountyemergencymanagementoffice/ Hours: 24/7 (leave a message if necessary and someone will call back) Comprehensive computerized directory of Columbia County worship sites and religious leaders.
Overcomes Ministries w/GOD Belongs in our County Phone: 515-604-9094 Access Code: 425879573 Toll Free Prayer Line
Hours: Daily 7-9am; 5-9pm
Faith leaders from across the County will be available to provide support for anyone who wants to reach out. Group reflections, compassionate prayers, encouragement to go through this with verses that build courage and strength, referrals for 1:1 pastoral care; partnering with the Emergency Operation Center.
Columbia County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Phone: 518-828-1212
Website: https://www.facebook.com/columbiacountyemergencymanagementoffice/ Hours: 24/7 (leave a message if necessary, and someone
will call back)
Assistance obtaining information for a family member of someone who passed away during the COVID-19 crisis in Columbia County; assistance with contacting a local Funeral Home; assistance with contacting a County Coroner; assistance with determining the location of a deceased loved one; assistance with moving required documents that need signatures, between the person making arrangements for a deceased loved one and a local Funeral Home if no transportation is available.
Update from the Columbia County Health Department As of 2.30 PM on April 23, 2020
– Columbia County has had 13 community members that have passed away from COVID-19
-138 positive cases of COVID-19
-66 of the 138 cases have recovered from COVID-19
– 9 of the positive cases are hospitalized, 3 of those are in the ICU
-We have received 1,018 test results completed for Columbia County residents
-140 residents are under mandatory quarantine and 14 under precautionary quarantine
For further clarity of the information we share please see below:
The data we share pertains to individuals who have positive cases of COVID- 19 confirmed by test results (aside from the suspected, not tested).
The information we get comes from an NYSDOH database that distributes test results for residents to counties based on their address provided at time of testing. This means that results of Columbia County residents who get tested outside of the county and other county residents who get tested here all reach the Department of Health of their home county through the NYSDOH database.
Additionally, those deemed “recovered” are residents who have tested positive, have endured their required isolation and are well enough to end their isolation.
Below you can find the breakdown of confirmed, positive cases of COVID-19 in Columbia County as of Friday, 4/17. We will be sharing this information each Friday afternoon.
By learning the towns of positive cases we don’t want anyone to feel a sense of false confidence that the virus is not in their community. In order to slow the spread, we need to stay vigilant on prevention measures no matter where the positive, confirmed cases reside.
New Lebanon- 3
Pine Haven Residents- 26 Livingston Hills- 1
We still strongly recommend that everyone treat each and every person you see like they are COVID-19 positive by practicing social distancing, proper hand hygiene, avoid touching your face and common surfaces, and most importantly STAY HOME until absolutely necessary to leave. By learning the towns’ positive cases we don’t want anyone to feel a sense of false confidence that the virus is not in their community. In order to slow the spread, we need to stay vigilant on these prevention measures no matter where the positive, confirmed cases reside.
Social distancing continues to be
a priority for the community’s health. Prevent the spread by staying
home, staying 6ft away from everyone, and understanding
that commonly touched items ARE a possible means for the virus to
transmit from person-to-person. Do not touch your face, sanitize these surfaces frequently and STAY HOME to protect
those who cannot.