News from Town Hall

We're in uncharted territory. Though we're doing as much as we can with Town Hall closed and staff working from home, this is an unsettling time for all of us.

County leaders - the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, committee chairs, County clerks, financial staff, attorneys, and critical departments - are working exceptionally hard to stay on top of frequent new executive orders and the rapid pace of the virus.

We're also profoundly grateful to our County healthcare workers and first responders who are working tirelessly to save lives while putting themselves at risk.

And thanks to our friends at our local grocery stores, restaurants, delivery services, and post office. You're all out there taking care of us.

Here's what I know today about the status of COVID-19 in Columbia County.

  • As of 3 pm, March 30, 2020, Columbia County has 36 positive cases of COVID-19.
  • Six of the positive cases remain hospitalized, two of those are in the ICU.
  • We have received 357 test results completed for Columbia County residents.
  • There are 69 under mandatory quarantine and 17 under precautionary quarantine.
  • There are 9 residents with suspected, not tested cases.

Also news today:

  • A new Executive Order postponed the presidential primary to June 23, 2020, and postponed circulation, filing, and collection of designation petitions indefinitely.
  • County sales tax losses resulting from shutting down the economy could reach as high as $2 billion in a worst-case scenario. All this will ultimately impact town budgets. The Town Board will have a virtual budget workshop next week to explore how the Town can start curtailing expenses.
  • It was announced that social distancing will continue through April 30 for all of us.

Given that information is changing frequently, check for updates on the Town website. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on my cell at 646-373-5002.

Peter Cipkowski
Hillsdale Town Supervisor
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) has launched t wo new Columbia County emergency funds to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations and small businesses as they respond to the impact of the coronavirus.

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.
The Business Continuity Fund will provide cash grants to small businesses operating in communities impacted by the economic consequences of the virus.
Started just two weeks ago, Doorstep Deliverers is bringing groceries and medication to senior, immunocompromised, and otherwise at-risk community members facing COVID-19. Its 23 volunteers have been busy making deliveries in Hudson, Copake, Craryville, Hillsdale, Egremont, Great Barrington, and Pittsfield. Seeking to support local businesses that do not have the capacity to offer free deliveries, they deliver from any local supermarket or store that offers “curbside” pickup of orders paid for by phone.

The volunteer group was started by Hillsdale’s Reed Lessing (17) and Kate Segel (16). If you or someone you know can benefit from this service or would like to volunteer, visit their website or call (518) 227-0613 .

Though earlier flyers were distributed with a 917 number (and that number is still usable), a 518 number has been set up due to high demand.
The Navigator Program of the Healthcare Consortium remains ready to assist individuals with enrolling in health insurance—including the public health insurance options, Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, and the commercial, self-pay products, collectively called “Qualified Health Plans”—on the NY State of Health. 
Consumers should call  518-822-8820 —the Healthcare Consortium’s main phone number—which is currently redirected to the cell phone of Lisa Thomas, Director of our Consumer Assistance Programs. 
Lisa will assist consumers with scheduling a telephone appointment with a Navigator. Our four Navigators are all working safely from home offices and remain deeply committed to providing assistance to the residents of Columbia and Greene Counties during this difficult time.
Claire Parde, MS
Executive Director                  
The Healthcare Consortium
The Roe Jan Food Pantry is serving the needs of many more families than usual during this period of crisis. They're open on Fridays from 10 am to noon. If you use the pantry, please follow the guidelines on their webpage.

You can also support local restaurants that have been required to close during the pandemic. Several have been offering takeout options. Also, local grocery and farm stores remain open and offers safe ways to shop and pickup.

Explore resources on the Town website and on the nifty graphic below (with thanks to Tod Wohlfarth). C all to confirm hours, menus, and special services.
Here's something we can do from home. It only takes 10 minutes to change the next 10 years for our community.

  • It's quick and easy.
  • It's safe, secure, and confidential. Your information and privacy are protected.
  • Your response helps to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services.
  • Results from the 2020 Census will be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and your political representation at all levels of government.

If you have access to the notice that you received in the mail, complete your online response to the Census 2020 here:
If you did not receive the notice at your home or don't have it handy, go to: