The Saratoga County Public Health Services (SCPHS) and its team of contact tracers are working hard to mitigate the recent increase of COVID-19 cases being reported in Saratoga County. The increase in cases is due to several factors, and is a reminder that COVID-19 is still present and affecting the community.
Colleges and Universities
Current outbreaks of COVID-19 cases on college campuses around the nation have led to college students from Saratoga County communities returning home positive for COVID-19 or subsequently testing positive at a later time after returning home.
Skidmore College, the largest higher education institution within the County, is successfully managing efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay and is not currently contributing to the growing number of college-related cases here in Saratoga County. SCPHS will continue to coordinate with Skidmore as needed.
SCPHS is also working with Saratoga Bridges to manage a cluster within the organization. As of September 11, Saratoga Bridges has had 22 people — 10 individuals from one home and 12 staff — test positive for COVID-19. Just a small percentage of individuals from the Saratoga Bridges community have tested positive, as the agency provides services to 132 individuals located in 19 homes and nine apartments, 90 people in their day programs and employs 482 staff members.
From the onset in March, the agency created many policies, procedures and mandated guidelines for their residential program. This continued when they reopened their day programs in early August after a five-month hiatus. Their protocols include a screening process for staff and visitors that includes taking temperatures, inquiring if they are feeling unwell and asking if they have been exposed to someone who is ill. Also, they require staff to wear surgical masks, practice social distancing and encourage frequent hand sanitizing.
Saratoga Bridges is working with SCPHS’s contact tracers and has implemented specific quarantine procedures in their homes created with guidance from the CDC and DOH. Their staff have been trained on using the required PPE and the agency is getting additional guidance from the County’s medical specialists.
SCPHS would like to remind the community that COVID-19 is still in the community and spikes in cases will at times occur. This is no time to let our guard down, but we should heighten our vigilance. As always, the steps to stop the spread of the virus are simple and effective: Wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly, stay home and away from others if you are ill.