LATE BREAKING NEWS – GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES SUMMER DAY CAMPS CAN BEGIN OPERATING STARTING JUNE 29 SUBJECT TO SAFETY GUIDELINES STILL TO BE ANNOUNCED
Next Monday, June 8th, Columbia County employees will begin returning to work at 50% staffing, per New York State guidelines, said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell on Tuesday. The following week, on Monday, June 15th, all county buildings will again be open to the public. Until that time, the previously indicated departments will remain open to the public. “We will bring staff back slowly starting next week as we all work through the initial part of the process,” said Chairman Murell. “There will obviously be somewhat of a learning curve for everyone as we reopen.” “We will also be taking all the necessary safety precautions to do the best we possibly can to ensure the safety of everyone. For example: employees’ temperatures will be taken, as will that of anyone from the public, when entering a building. (an exception being if someone can attest to their temperature – the standard is 100.4 degrees or below). Employees and the public will be required to wear a mask, and there will be plenty of hand sanitizer available,” Chairman Murell said. In addition, cleaning of all work and public spaces will be performed frequently throughout the course of the day.
PHASE 2 BEGINS WEDNESDAY
“As of today, Phase 2 of the New York Forward four-phase business reopening plan is on track for Wednesday, June 3rd, in the Capital Region,” said Chairman Murell on Tuesday. He pointed out that state-issued guidance for businesses included in Phase 2 is now available on the New York Forward website (https://forward.ny.gov). According to the New York Forward site, businesses allowed to begin the process of reopening are offices; real estate; essential and Phase 2 in-store retail; vehicle sales, leases, and rentals; retail rental, repair, and cleaning; commercial building management; and hair salons and barbershops.
Important upcoming events……
CORONAVIRUS TESTING CLINIC
Sunday, June 7th 10:00am – 1:00pm: at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham
Signup instructions and further instructions regarding the clinics can be found on the Health Department’s webpage on the Columbia County website https://www.columbiacountynyhealth.com/, or by calling 518-828- 3358.
COLUMBIA COMEBACK MEETING
Monday, June 8th, at 1:00pm: Columbia Comeback Meeting. The meeting is open to the public and can be accessed at https://columbiacomeback.com. Columbia Comeback was established by Chairman Murell as a resource for local businesses as they work to safely and successfully reopen under state guidelines.
BUSINESS REOPENING TOOLS
Phase One of New York Forward, which began on Wednesday, includes construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup; agriculture, forestry and fishing; as well as low-risk business and recreational activities, including drive-in movie theaters and some outdoor activities. Guidelines and templates relating to reopening plans can be found at: https://columbiacomeback.com/resources/phase-one/ Also, New York State has recently added a “Reopening Tool,” designed to let businesses know when they may reopen in a particular region. It can be accessed at: https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward
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: http://www.columbiacountyny.com and the Emergency Management Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/columbiacountyemergencymanagementoffice
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.
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 should 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.
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. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s five or 100, we need every one,” said Lagonia, who recommends that those wishing to help out with mask donations consult CDC guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diycloth-face-coverings.html
Food: Donations should be directed to the county Office for the Aging (518-828-4258) and local food pantries.
Free fabric: Currently, Ocean State Job Lot stores are offering free fabric for use in the construction of masks in a “Mask Fabric For Free” campaign. Visit any Ocean State location for the fabric, which is said to be of a high-quality cotton/polyester blend available in two sizes. Further information is available on the Ocean State Job Lot website. Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts is offering free mask kits. 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.
It is the county’s intention to issue accurate information regarding the coronavirus situation under conditions that can change by the minute.