News from Town Hall

I hope you and your family are well and continue to stay safe. As we face a truly unprecedented situation, the pandemic continues to affect all of our families, our jobs and, unfortunately, the health and well-being of people we love.

As of 4:00 pm on April 16, 2020, here's the status of COVID-19 in Columbia County:

  • There are now 102 identified positive cases of COVID-19 in Columbia County.
  • 10 County residents have passed away from COVID-19.
  • Seven of the 10 were residents of Pine Haven.
  • 49 of the 102 cases have recovered.
  • 10 of the positive cases are hospitalized, and three of those are in the ICU.
  • We have received 779 test results completed for Columbia County.
  • 76 residents are under mandatory quarantine, and 16 under precautionary quarantine.
  • There are six residents with suspected cases.

Despite the increasing numbers in Columbia County, we're truly inspired by the selfless healthcare workers who are on the front lines working tirelessly to care for people in need. An anonymous local artist has honored some of our local heroes - her handiwork is sprinkled below. Each is an "essential worker" in every way, and helps keep our community safe.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out anytime.

Peter Cipkowski
Hillsdale Town Supervisor
518-325-5073 x6 (Town Hall)
646-373-5002 (cell)
Gov. Cuomo said on Wednesday, April 15, that a new executive order will require all New Yorkers, upstate and downstate, to wear a face mask or face covering ( scarves or bandannas, for example) in public places to contain the Coronavirus. The new requirement will take effect on Friday, April 17, and will apply to commercial settings such as grocery and convenience stores.

A previous executive order, issued on April 12, requires essential workers to wear masks. Essential workers include employees of highway departments, fire departments, transfer stations, and grocery stores.
Thanks to generous donations to the Hillsdale Economic and Community Development Corporation (HECDC), the HECDC is offering gifts of $250 to Hillsdale individuals or families that are experiencing financial stress due to loss of employment because of COVID-19. More than $6,000 has already been distributed.

The available funds are limited, so if you would like to apply, please do so as soon as possible.

Please email [email protected] or call 518-325-5073 extension 6 to learn if you qualify.

Donations are also welcome. If you would like to support this important local fund, contributions are tax-deductible. Make your check payable to the HECDC and mail it to:

PO Box 305
Hillsdale NY 12529

Write in the memo: COVID-19 Fund
Governor Cuomo announced today, April 16, that all NYS on Pause restrictions and closures will be extended until May 15. Hillsdale Town Hall and the Town Garage will remain closed to the public until that time.
  • You reach Town Hall staff by email, phone, or mail. Please consult the Town Directory if you need to reach the Town Clerk, Court Clerk, Assessor, Building Inspector, Highway Superintendent, Supervisor, or members of the Town Board. All telephone calls and emails will be returned promptly.
  • Town Highway Departments are considered “essential” and are working a regular schedule. Ours is no exception – and they are taking precautions to protect themselves and the public.
  • Please use the mail slot at the front door of Town Hall if you have anything to drop off.
  • May’s Zoning, Planning and Town Board meetings will take place virtually. Details will be posted on the town website.
  • Pending word from the State and County, we hope to post the applications for the Summer Youth Program on Friday, May 1.
The Columbia County Department of Health anticipates the delivery of 1,000 test kits at the end of this week. Details on how testing will be conducted will be announced soon.

These test kits are Thermo Fisher kits are FDA-approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), said DOH Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Chuck Kaiser.

He added: “We continue to look into using serologic rapid test kits and look forward to when one or more of these kits become FDA approved. Once these approved serologic kits are readily available, they will help provide much-needed information on how the virus is affecting our community, and what type of immunity might be developing.”
Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett has organized a valuable service for the elderly and vulnerable, including those with medical conditions or the disabled. If requested, the Sheriff will deploy a deputy to check-in on their well-being on a daily basis

Call 518-828-0601, extension 1400 to request a daily visit.

“Leave a message and someone will return your call,” said Bartlett. “A time frame, morning or afternoon, will be established for when a deputy will come to your residence. When the deputy comes by, he or she will knock on the door, then retreat to a safe distance and wait for someone to signal that all is well inside.”
Hillsdale Fire Chief Fred Miller wants to remind us that if we place a call to 911 for ANY reason -- a smokey chimney, symptoms of a heart attack, or a fall -- to please let the 911 operator know if it's ALL CLEAR and that no one is showing symptoms of coronavirus in the household. Needless to say, if someone is symptomatic, let them know when you place the call. The first-responders will take a few extra precautions when they arrive.
Like our local restaurants, local farms face so much uncertainty these days. Though we're all looking forward to the opening of the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market in late May, we can start supporting our farmers right away.

Explore this working list of local farmers and resources to learn what they sell, what you can buy now, how to get it, and what you can pre-order.
In this uncertain time, The Roe Jan Food Pantry is working harder than ever to ensure that vulnerable local families have food on the table. Open every Friday, 10 am to noon, the Pantry welcomes anyone in need, volunteers, and donations. Please explore the webpage for more information.
We were happy to catch Ed and Carl sporting masks and gloves at the Hillsdale Transfer Station. When they posed for this photo, they asked how we'd know if they were smiling!

Hillsdale Station will now be open on Wednesday 7:30 am – 4:00 pm and on Saturday 7:30 am – 4:00 pm. If you're new to using the station, please bring a check for bags and a recycling permit.
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) has launched new Columbia County emergency funding programs to rapidly deploy resources to the community as we respond to the impact of the coronavirus.

The Columbia County  Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund   makes emergency grants for medical, food, overdue utilities, and other critical services for people in crisis. These are flexible resources in the face of the current emergency. For information, contact Columbia Opportunities at 518 829-4611 or Catholic Charities of Columbia & Greene Counties 518 828-8660. Or explore the link below.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will support nonprofit organizations working with individuals and families who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.
If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and can recover at home . However, is you have severe symptoms (including trouble breathing), please get medical attention right away.

Stay home except to get medical care.

Stay home.  Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Wear a mask at all times.

Stay in touch with your doctor if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs.