PINE HAVEN CONFIRMS CASES OF COVID-19
The Columbia County Department of Health announced today that four residents of Pine Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Philmont have tested positive for COVID-19. The four cases have been confirmed by New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Each of the four individuals are isolated at the facility. None of the four confirmed cases are hospitalized — their symptoms are being treated and managed by the facility. The families of the patients have been notified and the facility reports the patients’ symptoms are improving.
Pine Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation is remaining vigilant in taking proper precautions to protect staff and all residents. The facility has taken several precautions over the past three weeks in an effort to protect their community. They have been closed to visitors for the past three weeks, and employees and all essential deliveries are being screened for travel, symptoms or fever.
“I’m confident that Pine Haven is taking the necessary steps to protect their residents and employees,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said Friday. “The Columbia County Department of Health remains in constant contact with the New York State Department of Health,” he added.
“All nursing homes within the county have a plan to handle these types of contingencies,” said county Emergency Management Director David W. Harrison, Jr.
“Pine Haven has and continues to be proactive. We understand they’ve been isolating residents to their wings. They’ve certainly been closely monitoring anyone coming in or out. As the Chairman mentioned we continue to communicate with the state throughout our response,” said Jack Mabb, Director of Public Health.
NOTICE: TOWN OFFICES CLOSED
All Town Offices will be closed until Monday April 6, 2020. As we all know, news concerning this situation changes rapidly and there is always the chance this could be extended so please check the website frequently for any new changes.
If the need arises where it is necessary to speak with someone at the Town Offices, please consult the Town Directory and leave a message for the Town Clerk, Court Clerk, Assessor, or Building Inspector.
Town Court is canceled until after May 1, 2020. All cases already scheduled will be rescheduled and adjournment notices will be mailed.
All Town and County meetings have been cancelled until further notice.
Updates will be posted on our website and on the town office and court office answering machines.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.
As of 4 pm, March 27, 2020, Columbia County has 27 positive cases of COVID-19. We have received 291 test results completed for Columbia County residents. There are 96 under mandatory quarantine and 35 under precautionary quarantine. There are 10 residents with suspected, not tested cases.
Today Governor Cuomo announced all New York State schools will be closed until April 15th at which point the matter will be reevaluated. It is important now more than ever to stay vigilant and STAY HOME. If you do have to go out, don’t touch common surfaces (credit card reader, doors, countertops, shopping carts). Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
Our Board feels that is is prudent to take proactive steps to minimize the spread of coronavirus into our community. As of Monday morning, March 16, the Town Office, including the Clerk’s Office, Assessors Office and Building Inspectors Office are all currently open, but please check often as this situation is subject to change as developments dictate. Updates will be posted on our website and on the Town phone system. There are no scheduled meetings this week, and decisions on upcoming meetings will be made in the near future. We ask that you postpone any in-person visits to the Town Office while we remain open, unless it is absolutely necessary. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.
Also until further notice, All County meetings have been cancelled until further notice
Food Pantry Updates: As of this week the pantry will be open on Tuesday, However, food will be brought outside for you. There will be a table outside with extra items for those in need. At this time, we will be using paper bags. Please keep your reusable bags to be returned at a later date. Updates will be made as necessary.
Notice from the Claverack Town Court - Court Closure
The court has received notification from the Office of Court Administration that effective 5pm on Monday March 16, 2020, all town and village court proceedings will be postponed for 45 days in relation to the Coronavirus public health emergency.
All Tuesday night court proceedings for Vehicle & Traffic Court, Criminal Court and Civil Court will be postponed until after May 1, 2020.
All cases already scheduled will be rescheduled and adjournment notices will be mailed.
The court office at this time remains open, but please check often as this situation is subject to change as developments dictate. Updates will be posted on our website and on the court’s answering machine.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.
STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR COLUMBIA COUNTY
As of Noon today (Monday, March 16, 2020), Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell has issued a State of Emergency has been declared for Columbia County. At this time, the State of Emergency includes one Executive Order that regulates public gatherings. The Executive Order states:
All social, community, and public events or gatherings, including Columbia County-sponsored events, where it is anticipated that attendance will exceed fifty (50) people or more, shall be restricted, cancelled or postponed. This means all social gatherings of more than fifty (50) should be deferred until further notice. For any meetings that are absolutely necessary, a venue should be chosen that can accommodate a six foot distance between participants. Citizens are asked to restrict public appearances to critical activities such as obtaining fuel, food, or medical care. When in public, please retain a six foot distance from your fellow citizens. Sound personal hygiene techniques should be in practice.
Read the entire State of Emergency Order here.
From Columbia County 911: Hotlines available to the public for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) related information. It's best to call your doctor's office or one of these hotlines for information, before presenting at the Emergency Room, clinic or doctor's office.
As always, if there is an emergent need for care of any kind, go to the ER or dial 911 without delay.
As of 4 pm on March 16, 2020, Columbia County has 0 positive cases of COVID-19, 3 individuals under mandatory quarantine, 9 individuals under precautionary quarantine. We have received 15 test results completed for Columbia County residents, all with negative results. We continue to work closely with our local healthcare partners and community members on a case by case basis to evaluate testing criteria as issued by the CDC and NYSDOH.
We continue to monitor the national and state guidance and adapt our local response plans accordingly. On March 16, 2020, the Governor issued an executive order, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors issued State of Emergency for Columbia County, and the Mayor of Hudson issued a Local Emergency Order. The New York State Executive Order makes the following recommendations until further notice: no more public gatherings of over 50 persons, casinos will close at 8 pm tonight, gyms will close at 8 pm tonight, movie theaters will close at 8 pm tonight, bars/restaurants will close at 8 pm tonight- except for take out. It is recommended that only essentials be open after 8 pm tonight including grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, medical facilities.
We're all consumed these days with the news and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). That said, I wanted to update you on some measures being taken locally to prepare for, and combat, the virus.
COLUMBIA MEMORIAL HEALTH
As of this morning (March 12, 2020) no CMH patient has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a very dynamic situation, however, and as we have seen in other areas of the state and nation, a positive test may occur in the future in our region.
We've established a hotline for persons concerned that they may have contracted the virus. If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, or if you have reason to believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus, please call the hotline at 518-828-8249. A trained staff member will provide guidance concerning testing, care and protective protocols. To best protect you, our patients, our staff and the public, it is very important that you call this number before seeking testing or care for a coronavirus related concern. As always, if there is an emergent need for care of any kind, come directly to the ER without delay.
We will provide updates as the situation evolves. It is important to remember over 80% of those infected with coronavirus have only mild symptoms. The best thing we all can do is to remain calm and follow the CDC recommendations to help prevent the virus from spreading. See the recommendations HERE.
Do your part: stay calm, focus on prevention and call the hotline if you have the symptoms listed above or have been exposed to a confirmed positive case.
As of 9:30am on March 12, 2020, Columbia County has no positive cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We encourage you to continue to seek reputable sources for your information. These can be found on our website.
Other reputable sources include the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and the New York State Department of Health.
COLUMBIA COUNTY PREPARES FOR CORONAVIRUS
HUDSON -- “The Columbia County Board of Supervisors and county personnel are taking all precautions in the fight against the coronavirus, or COVID-19. This includes protecting our residents to the extent possible and making plans for the county to continue carrying out its business in the event a major outbreak occurs here,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said today.
The county is monitoring the situation and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NYS departments of Health and Education, and the Columbia County Department of Health.
At the county Department of Health, Public Health Director Jack Mabb called COVID-19 an “incredibly fluid situation. The CDC is screening people as they come into the country if they have a fever, or if they have a travel history” involving one of the countries with people who have been infected.
If a county resident tests positive in that situation, or if they have traveled to a country with people who have tested positive, county DoH is notified. Its job is to then make sure that the resident is able to effectively self-quarantine.
To date, no county residents have testified positive for the virus. One person is self-quarantining after traveling through Italy, Mabb said. “We make sure they have thermometers. Fever is the big criteria.”
In the early stages of the coronavirus situation, Mabb said, the Centers for Disease Control “was all about containment. Now, it’s about mitigation. We will continue to try to contain it, but we probably won’t be able to So what can we do to slow it down in a community.”
Mabb said the county is also working closely with leadership of the six county school districts on COVID-19 response.
“The department has received a number of calls from organizations regarding live events that will attract a lot of people, asking whether they should cancel or not. Our job is not to say you must cancel, but in most cases we do in fact recommend that they postpone their event,” Mabb said.
To keep-up-to date on announcements pertaining to COVID-19, the county Department of Health website can be found at columbiacountynyhealth.com.
Director of Emergency Management David Harrison said that county leaders “have been involved in insuring that all county departments and services can continue” in the event of a widespread outbreak here.
Harrison pointed out that a continuation of operations plan is part of good emergency management practices. “What we’re doing is part of that. While we train for a large scale power outage, that training provides county department heads and leadership with a plan on how to handle other things such things as a building being destroyed, or a large number of employees out of work. Fire services and EMS has to go on. We are always meeting, always planning,” he said.
“I would like to stress to everyone to not panic,” Harrison added.
From the standpoint of county emergency services, Emergency Medical Services Coordinator PJ Keeler noted that he and the county EMS agencies “have been in constant contact with the state Bureau of EMS, which puts out policy statements and practitioner guidance as to personal protective measures we need to take when we go out on a call.”
“Most important,” he continued, “is the 911 center. It has instituted a screening process that will hopefully identify patients prior to our arrival. An example: If someone were to call in and say they have difficulty breathing, part of that screening process would include such questions as have they traveled?, do they have a fever?, and so on.”
The screening process gives emergency responders the opportunity to take protective measures. The responders, in turn, would notify the hospital of the patient’s condition prior to their arrival so the hospital can be prepared as well, Keeler said.
Keeler added that the EMS plan is the same as has been in place and practiced in previous situations, such as during the SARS outbreak.
At the county Office for the Aging, Administrator Kevin McDonald said that as a contingency the plan is to begin preparing extra frozen meals to have in stock.
“That’s in case, for whatever reason, we are unable to deliver a hot meal – we would be able to drop off five frozen meals for the week. We also want to be able to make available self-staple meals, or meals that that can be prepared without cooking. We give those out during the winter season anyway so that people have something to eat if we can’t get a hot meal to them,” he said.
Repeating the words of Emergency Management’s Harrison, McDonald added, “The last thing we want to do is panic people.”
As a best practice for overall health in cold and influenza season, the CDC recommends that individuals receive the influenza vaccination and engage in everyday, preventative measures to prevent the spread of germs and avoid illness, such as:
· Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
· Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
· Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
· Stay home when you are sick.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with the crease of your elbow.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed by your physician.
If you or a family member start showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, or the hospital emergency room, inform them that you may be a suspect case for COVID-19, and follow their advice.
FROM PINE HAVEN NURSING HOME: “In cooperation with our local health authorities regarding COVID-19 safeguards, our facility will not be allowing any visitors at this time until further notice. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.” Read More.