From the City of Saratoga Springs:
The City was the grateful recipient of several acts of kindness and generosity today, including thousands of white face masks from Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services Manager Carl Zeilman and 600 bottles of hand sanitizer from Cooperstown Distillery and Andrew Gilchrist, as well as poignant letters of support from the students at Schuylerville Central School (see below). Thank you all for your support of our city as we navigate through the COVID-19 outbreak.
’We would like to thank all of the students from the Schuylerville Central School who sent letters to our department. There were well over a dozen. Your letters provide the lift we need to help us continue providing service to the community. Your kind gesture made our day!’
~Saratoga Springs Fire Department Chief Joe Dolan
From Governor Cuomo / New York State:
We are living in a profound moment in history. Our actions today will shape our future and we cannot risk undoing all the progress we have made. We will rely on science and facts to guide our next steps. I know there are some people who want to reopen as quickly as possible. I also want to return to normal. But there are too many lives at risk. We need to act prudently today or else we’ll suffer the consequences tomorrow.
Here’s what else you need to know tonight:
1. Today, I announced a new nation-leading COVID-19 contact tracing program to control the rate of infection of the virus. This program will help us control the infection rate of Coronavirus and will be executed in coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut. It will serve as an important resource to gather data and be a model to replicate across the country. Bloomberg Philanthropies is committing $10.5 million, along with organizational support and technical assistance, to help build and execute this new program, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will build an online curriculum and training program for contact tracers. This program will be crucial as we start our work to safely reopen our economy. I thank former Mayor Michael Bloomberg for this exciting partnership.
2. While New York is on PAUSE, families of public employees won’t need to wait to access retirement benefits. A recently signed Executive Order waives the 15-day waiting period. This allows families who may lose a relative to Coronavirus to receive these benefits sooner.
3. The New York State Department of Financial Services announced new measures to help hospitals. DFS will direct health insurers to provide financial and administrative relief to New York State hospitals in response to COVID-19. Health insurers will be required to immediately pay out claims to hospitals and to work with the neediest hospitals to provide additional financial assistance. That means hospitals can focus more on life-saving medical care.
4. The NY National Guard Civil Support Team is helping test medical workers for COVID-19. The 22 Soldiers and Airmen on the team are trained to detect the presence of biological, chemical and radiological hazards using a sophisticated mobile laboratory. They have adapted this technology to run COVID-19 tests, and are now testing on-site medical workers stationed at the Javits Center, which has been used as an overflow facility for COVID patients.
5. The Port Authority of NY and NJ helped find a good home for over 30,000 pineapples. When a NYC food distributor received a shipment of thousands of pineapples from Costa Rica, they worked with the Port Authority to donate the pineapples to New Yorkers in need. They are just one of many food distributors that are giving away excess food product to food pantries, houses of worship and community groups. More donations are expected — of not just pineapples, but bananas, rice, tomatoes, apples, oranges and more.
6. The State’s antibody testing survey results will be announced in a few days. Earlier this week, New York began administering the survey in supermarkets and other locations statewide. The results of the random testing will show us for the first time what percentage of the population has actually had the virus and will help us to reopen and rebuild without jeopardizing what we’ve already accomplished.
7. Today is the 50th Earth Day. Protecting our planet and environment isn’t just a lofty goal — it’s a public health necessity. We have found that neighborhoods with high concentrations of COVID cases are also locations with polluting plants. The quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink impacts all of our health.
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From the County:
UPDATE: COVID-19 Information for Saratoga County
April 22, 2020
Ballston Spa, NY — The Saratoga County Department of Public Health Services today announced that there are 290 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saratoga County and 12 of those individuals are hospitalized at this time.
Facebook Live event earlier today
Officials from Saratoga County hosted a Facebook Live event this morning to answer questions from residents related to COVID-19. The hour-long event was hosted on the Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services Facebook page and featured:
- Jennifer McCloskey, Director of Employment and Training
- Dr. Michael Prezioso, Commissioner of Mental Health and Addictive Services
- Tina Potter, Commissioner of Social Services
Community members can re-watch the stream here.
The importance of masks
Face masks must be worn if individuals are out in public and especially while doing essential shopping for groceries or at the pharmacy. They must also be worn if individuals are:
- In a situation where one is unable to maintain a six-foot distance
- Traveling in a public or private transportation carrier or for hire-vehicle (i.e., bus, train, taxi, Uber, Lyft)
Essential businesses must provide face coverings or masks to all essential workers for both the employees’ protection and to protect others. Employees who directly interact with the public should self-monitor themselves each day before work for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. We are seeing a variety of symptoms with COVID-19.
Monitor daily for the following:
- temperature (check to see if experiencing fevers or chills)
- loss of taste and loss of smell
- dry chronic cough
- shortness of breath
- nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- extreme fatigue or severe headache
Essential workers are not to go to work if ill and should contact their healthcare provider.
How to make a mask or face covering at home
That being said, the Department of Public Health Services is aware of mask shortages. The CDC has a helpful resource on its website outlining how to wear a mask and instructions on how to make a homemade mask. That link can be accessed here. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing. Be sure to wash your homemade mask often.
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