Official: COVID alive in Columbia County

The spikes that adorn the outer surface of the coronavirus, which impart the look of a corona when viewed through an electron microscope. Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

HUDSON — Columbia County has seen a slight uptick in its number of positive coronavirus cases.

After several months of steady COVID numbers, the county saw five new positive coronavirus cases in the past week.

“Despite the recent long drought with no positives, the virus is still alive and out there among our community,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said in a statement.

In some of the recent positive cases, the people had been asymptomatic and in other cases a person had been experiencing symptoms, Mabb said. The new positive cases came from different areas throughout the county.

As of Sept. 21, Columbia County tallied 553 total positive cases of COVID-19, according to the county Health Department. The department reported three active cases at that time and there had been 37 COVID-related deaths in the county.

As of Tuesday, Columbia County reported a total of 564 positive cases, according to the Health Department. There were 10 active cases in the county and there have been no new COVID-related deaths.

About 34% of the positive COVID cases in Columbia County have been detected in residents at local nursing homes.

The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell has had 142 of the county’s positive cases as of last Friday, Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has had two positive cases and Pine Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has had 51 positive cases, according to the Health Department.

The department also gave a town-by-town update, as of Friday, of the total number of positive cases since the pandemic began: Ancram, 5; Canaan, 11; Chatham, 25; Claverack, 28; Clermont, 8; Copake, 25; Craryville, 3; Elizaville, 2; Gallatin, 3; Germantown, 7; Ghent, 24; Greenport, 40; Hillsdale, 16; Hudson, 35; Kinderhook, 43; Livingston, 19; New Lebanon, 9; Niverville, 2; Philmont, 9; Stockport, 7; Stottville, 1; Stuyvesant, 19; Taghkanic, 8; Valatie, 17.

“It’s become apparent that most experts believe, for various reasons, there will be a surge in the spread of COVID-19 during the autumn and winter months,” Columbia County Emergency Management Director David W. Harrison Jr. said in a statement. “There are some experts who believe that the surge has already started in some areas, but may not be as bad in those states, including New York, that are diligent in practicing the basic precautions such as social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing.”

Schools in the area began reopening this month.

An elementary school student in Hudson tested positive for COVID-19 last week, Mabb said Monday. The student had not been attending in-person classes.

A teacher in the Chatham Central School District also tested positive, but had not been teaching in-person, according to the state school COVID Report Card. The other school districts in the county have had zero positive cases, according to the report card.

One in five county residents have been tested for COVID-19 since March, Mabb said.

In all, 30,960 tests have been administered to county residents as of Sept. 17. Of those, 13,397 were non-repeated tests and 17,563 people who have been tested more than once.

The county performed 326 tests in March; 892 in April; 2,278 in May; 2,914 in June; 3,147 in July; 3,050 in August; and 1,390 in September, as of Sept. 17.

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