Thursday, March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Message: Keep Your Distance

Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, issued this press release today:
Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell today urged people who migrate from New York City--where cases of COVID-19 are exploding--to Columbia County to self-quarantine for 14 days.
"We understand that people are coming here to escape the disease, but everyone should consider they are a carrier of the coronavirus," said Murell.
On a similar note, health officials have observed that people are congregating or stopping to chat in places like the grocery store and the post office. Again, everyone is asked to conduct their business and move along, as we need to respect the space of others. . . .
In regards to the county Department of Health using private residences for quarantine purposes, county Director of Emergency Management David W. Harrison, Jr., said Wednesday, "New York State has mandated that every county have buildings ready to house county residents who cannot, for whatever reason, quarantine at home. Columbia County has been actively searching for vacant homes or appropriate residential buildings that can be used for this purpose.
"There are currently two locations that have been leased by the county, one in the Town of Kinderhook and one in the Town of Austerlitz. The individuals staying at these locations may be people who must quarantine due to potential exposure of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, someone who has tested positive themselves for COVID-19 and is not required to be hospitalized, or family members that need a place to stay due to an immediate family member quarantining at home. 
"Since social distancing and other common sense cleansing practices must be the norm during the COVID-19 emergency event, these places pose no threat to neighbors or other people living in the area. As long as social distancing is practiced and there is not contact, there is no threat of contracting the virus from the people staying at these locations.
"We ask to remember that people staying at these places are your fellow county residents. Please respect their privacy."
By being proactive in this effort, Columbia County is making every effort to contain and stop the spread of COVID-19 to the best of our ability. It is important that county residents not panic and understand that this is for the betterment of everyone. . . .

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