Greene, Columbia counties announce more COVID-19 deaths, as legislature pretends it is 2019
Both Columbia County and Greene County each announced another death from COVID-19 on Jan. 3. Greene County also reported 52 new cases, 61 active cases, and 14 patients hospitalized. Columbia County officials write on social media that, "Due to the retirement of the State’s Commcare Case Investigation System, we are no longer able to share daily case numbers," even though Greene County continues to share that information. Meanwhile in Albany, Kate Lisa reports for New York State of Politics that the state legislature is operating this term without any COVID-19 protections in place. "Today feels like the olden days pre-pandemic," NYPIRG Executive Director Blair Horner said. "People are wandering around, by and large, without masks, and the sort of the energy level, the human interaction, is there that wasn't here last year." The only difference between the 2019 and 2023 legislative sessions is an upgraded air filtration system in the state Capitol that completes two-hour fresh air exchanges before the start and at the end of the day, according to the state Office of General Services.