COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT HOPES FOR NEW TESTS
Following word from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration that emergency use of a rapid coronavirus test that can deliver results in as little as 15 minutes has been approved, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said Monday that the test may be “rolled out” as early as Wednesday.
“I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I am going to aggressively pursue getting the tests. If the kits become available to the county in large quantities, I would hope to be able to do large scale testing in the county to help us better understand the disease,” Mabb said.
Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell pointed out that as of Monday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo had extended the directive that all non-essential workers remain home through April 15th. School districts have also been instructed to adhere to that date.
In addition, President Donald Trump has extended the directive that social distancing practices throughout the United States remain in effect until April 30th.
“These guidelines, as we have all come to understand, can change at any time,” Murell said. “Regardless, we all need to continue the social distancing practices, such as hand washing and keeping six feet between you and others, as set forth by public health officials.”
The state’s coronavirus website, with up-to-the-minute information, can be located at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
With calls coming into the county regarding the donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, face shields, and gowns, county officials advise those wishing to make a donation to contact the Emergency Management Office at 518-828-1212. If no one answers, please leave a message and someone will return the call.
Nitrile gloves are considered suitable for medical use, while other types of gloves must explicitly state they are for medical use. Food donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (518-828-4258) and local pantries.
As individuals are looking forward to receiving stimulus money from the federal government, Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett warns county residents to be alert to scams.
“During times of crisis, people need to be extra vigilant. There are people out there who are always looking to take advantage of these situations. Rely only on official sources. As usual, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Bartlett said.
Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell continues to urge people migrating from New York City to Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“I can’t stress more the importance of this. We understand that people are coming here to escape the disease, but 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/coronavirus-covid-19.