With fall and winter right around the corner, and with them the unknown of what impact the coronavirus may have in colder weather, Columbia County officials have begun to make plans to stockpile cloth masks in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.
“There’s nothing specific to indicate to us that a second wave of the virus is imminent or even inevitable come fall and winter, yet I think anyone can see that the virus has not disappeared and nothing leads us to believe it will anytime soon,” said Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell on Friday.
“Because of that, we are once again making it known that all donations of cloth masks to the county stockpile are welcomed. We appreciate every one we get,” added Chairman Murell.
Those wishing to donate cloth masks to the county stockpile may contact the county Emergency Management office at 518-828-1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Supervisor Rob Lagonia at email@example.com.
TESTING CLINICS SCHEDULE
Columbia County Health Department Director Jack Mabb has announced future COVID-19 testing clinics for August on Mondays 17, 24, and 31. The testing will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the sidewalk in front of the John L. Edwards Primary School in Hudson.
The DOH will be limiting the walkup clinics to 50 tests each. It is recommended anyone who would like to be tested get to the clinic as early as possible to ensure they secure one of the 50 tests. Pre-registration will not be necessary for the walkup clinics.
UPCOMING DRIVE-THRU CLINIC:
Sunday, August 9, 9 a.m. to 12 noon: Ichabod Crane High School, Valatie. Pre-registration is required at https://forms.gle/mngpRnfnPnVjpZee7
A form of photo identification will be required, and a mask is required for entry. These tests will be nasopharyngeal swabs, which are most useful to detect the virus in actively sick people. These are not antibody tests. The kits used at these testing sites are part of those purchased with the help of private donations to Columbia County.
After leaving the test site, symptomatic residents should go directly home for mandatory quarantine until results are shared with them. Essential workers should plan on quarantining outside of work and being extremely cautious around those they come into contact with. It may take up to five days to receive the test results. Everyone who gets tested at the site will receive their results once they are processed by Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany.
FREE HAND SANITIZER FOR COUNTY BUSINESSES, ORGANIZATIONS
On Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, any municipal or private agency/organization that would like free NYS hand sanitizer can come to the Public Safety Facility (PSF) parking lot at 85 Industrial Tract, Hudson, where they will receive up to two cases (eight gallons) of hand sanitizer per week based upon the size and need of the organization. Small spray bottles of hand sanitizer will also be available.
“I would like to remind everyone that the hand sanitizer, which is provided to us by the state, can only be handed out to Columbia County businesses, non-profits, and municipal/governmental agencies,” said county Emergency Management Director Harrison.
Those coming to the PSF for hand sanitizer should enter the north entrance (NYS DOT side) of the PSF parking area, and drive to the white “Sheriff’s” utility trailer in front of the building. Emergency Management and Sheriff’s Department staff will dispense the hand sanitizer at that point.
Monetary: Monetary donations intended for the purchase of coronavirus testing kits and 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.
PPE: 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.
Family Assistance Network: As part of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, 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.
It is the county’s intention to issue accurate information regarding the coronavirus situation under conditions that can change by the minute.