Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs
SARATOGA SPRINGS – “Ultimately, I think we’re going to be talking about things as being either pre-Corona, or post-Corona,” says Elliott Masie, disengaging from a Zoom video conference with a screen depicting representatives from 60 different companies across the nation who had gathered to discuss where they are and what they are doing “in these times.”
“I think this will change everything. And I don’t think it’s all bad; I don’t think it’s all good,” he says. “There’s a lot we haven’t figured out yet. But there are some things that are going to be absolutely different.”
Masie has hosted and curated learning & development seminars, labs, and conferences for several decades. He’s pulled in experts from across the country and put up interviews with them since before the age of Podcasts and Ted Talks, in the formative years of the Internet. He leads a learning consortium of more than 150 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies - a lot of it from the Saratoga Springs think tank The Masie Center, with a focus on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce.
On this day, the faces of dozens of representatives from a myriad of companies simultaneously stare back from his screen. One represents a financial service company with 60,000 employees, another a fast food service company that employs 1 million workers.
“Many of them are having to lay people off, and others are working from home, so I try to be the Rabbi – to mediate, and to have conversations with them about what’s changing,” Masie says. “We’ve never had a situation like this before.”
The moment it became clear the virus was coming to the U.S., Masie says he decided to use the Masie Center - its people, resources, reputation and networks - to host regular video support conversations to link colleagues and support the people who are in charge of the workforce learning all around the country.
Working from home and learning from home. What works? What doesn’t work?
“It’s hard. If you have your partner, or kids or dogs. Maybe you don’t have the Internet at home. People may not have all the tools they need to work at home. To employers, I would say: in the old days, meaning a few years ago, when businesses shut down, they just shut down and people went home. We’re now doing something that’s miraculous, but there’s no model for doing that,” Masie says.
”I was on the phone with someone who has 47,000 people working for them and the first thing they realized is that 9-to-5 isn’t a relative term. Meaning somebody may need to take care of their kids, because daycare’s not working. So, they’ve moved from thinking about the 9-to-5 to just get done what you can done.”
Communities in upstate New York began looking at things like high-speed Internet capabilities with an eye trained upon a future time when employees could be capable of working from their homes. In 2010, then-President Barack Obama signed legislation instructing each federal agency to come up with policies to promote telecommuting. At the time of the Telework Enhancement Act, approximately 5 percent of the federal work force was engaged in some level of teleworking, with slightly more than 100,000 employees teleworking at least once a week. A 2016 Gallup Survey reported the number of employees who worked remotely in some capacity was up to 43%. For those who haven’t, now would seem a good time to heed the advice from those who have.
“Have a dedicated in-home workspace and do your best to keep it holy,” explains Michael Eck, a longtime beloved Capital Region fixture in the art and music world. A self-employed freelancer for nearly 30 years, Eck telecommutes every day to the West Coast. Currently he works for Two Old Hippies Stringed Instruments in Bend, OR.
“Get up in the morning at the same time you would for your morning drive and do your morning routine,” Eck says. “Get dressed. In actual clothes. And put on your shoes. You’re going to work. Have breakfast. Be at the desk by your regular time and do the work. Make sure to eat lunch and take a brief afternoon walk so it feels like a regular day. Lather, rinse, repeat.”
Working from home with kids at home is an entirely new experience for those not accustomed to it, writes Kristen Hare, who has broken down her suggestions for working parents at home into categories respective of the children’s ages - from babies and toddlers to middle schoolers and teens. The piece may be viewed at Poynter.org.
“Just because workers’ laptops are now nearby on their kitchen tables doesn’t mean managers can expect their workforce to be available 24/7,” points out Alison Green in her article “You Don’t Have to Work All the Time Now,” which may be read at slate.com. “People feel like they’re expected to be working every minute of the day—in ways they generally wouldn’t be expected to do when they’re in the office... Remote workers aren’t on a chain gang; they’ve just temporarily relocated their workspace.”
For people new to working at home, Masie recommends being mindful of your time not only to produce good quality work, but to avoid burning out.
“We’re people under stress. And if people are under stress, their ability to learn, for accuracy, and their ability to 100% focus goes down. So, things that might have taken a half-hour at work, now might take two hours,” Masie says. “You do need to monitor your stress level. And you may need to tell people to stop working, meaning they’re working 14 hours a day just because there is no going home. That’s not the deal and that’s not healthy.”
He also recommends limiting your news-watching time. “I tell people to find one hour a day where if you want to, need to, or choose to, to go get the news. Don’t do that all day long. I love news, talking about it, thinking about it - but it’s not really updating, in a sense. You talk to someone who went through Katrina, they’re not floating through the river with a transistor radio on. So, I think there’s a psychological balance that’s needed.”
At home, one may not have the informal “water cooler” moments to talk with co-workers. Masie says in a social-distancing world, he’s created a time to socially interact with others, albeit it using technological means.
“Every morning at 7:15, Ira and I have a cup of coffee and a toasted bagel. He lives on one side of town and I live on the other,” Masie says, with a laugh. “And we carry on the same kind of conversations we’ve always had.
“Some things will never be the same and sadly a lot of people who have spent their life building a career, might have it disrupted, in some cases transformed, or in the worse-case ended by a tragic moment in history. So, you go back to Kubler-Ross there are some death and dying elements that people have to go through to find some peace. Luckily I can’t think of a better place that I would like to be than Saratoga.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS —Saratoga Hospital has established a COVID-19 Response Team that includes representatives of all disciplines of the hospital, from the main campus and all outpatient offices and facilities. Team members are in constant communication with each other and other area hospitals, as well as state and county health officials.
The best sources of information about COVID-19 plans at Saratoga Hospital are SaratogaHospital.org and the Saratoga Hospital Facebook page. These are updated constantly with their most current policies, including:
Visitation Guidelines: To minimize risks for their patients and staff, no visitors are allowed in the building at this time, with a limited number of exceptions dependent on appropriate screening. This policy also applies to their urgent care and emergent care facilities.
Elective Procedures: Effective Monday, March 23, most elective procedures have been postponed, as recommended by the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Bell and Sharman Lisieski are leading the postponement protocols.
Self-Care Resources: Many in the community are understandably anxious with the arrival of COVID-19 in our corner of the world. The hospital has included some community resources to help you and your loved ones reduce stress and manage anxiety.
Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include: Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones; Changes in sleep or eating patterns; Difficulty sleeping or concentrating; Worsening of chronic health problems; Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Things you can do to support yourself:
• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
• Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
• Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
• Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
“As we all take measures to protect our physical health, we also need to protect our emotional health,” writes psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb, whose article “Dear Therapist’s Guide to Staying Sane During a Pandemic,” was recently published in The Atlantic. “Everyone copes with horrible situations differently. For some, humor is a balm. It’s BOTH/AND: It’s horrible AND we can allow our souls to breathe.” The article may be read online at: theatlantic.com.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement as part of a COVID-19 Announcement on March 21: Mental health is a vital part of public health. To that end, I am calling on psychologists, therapists and other mental health professionals to pitch in and volunteer their services to help with New York’s Coronavirus response. To sign up, go to: health.ny.gov/assistance.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The 2010 census indicated the city of Saratoga Springs had a population of 26,586. Those population numbers are estimated to be higher, now, a decade later.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that the census takes place every 10 year and responses matter in helping determine how many dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year, as well as how many seats in Congress each state gets.
The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.
Door-to-door campaigns inspiring residents to fill out 2020 Census forms have been halted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the national deadline for the count by two weeks, until mid-August.
Through March 22, the most recent date of available figures, less than one-fourth, or 22.5% of Saratoga Springs households responded online, by mail, or by phone to the 2020 Census. That percentage is just under 20% for Saratoga County as a whole. The city and county 2010 self-response rates were each at approximately 70 percent in 2010.
For more information and to respond to the census, visit: 2020census.gov
SARATOGA COUNTY —While COVID-19 impacts the community, local hospitals and nonprofits are searching for item donations to continue their cause of serving the community.
Saratoga Hospital is looking for gloves, masks and protective eyewear. Respirator Masks, surgical gowns and ventilators are also a part of the products needed.
The Franklin Community Center in Saratoga is asking for donations of juice, peanut butter, canned fruit, tuna and pasta/egg noodles. There is a food donation bin located in the front of the building.
The Wilton Food Pantry is searching for canned fruit and personal care items. Peter Maynard, director of the food pantry, said donating a monetary amount is highly recommended because pantries can buy food from the Regional Food Bank at lower prices than the consumers can. The donations also allow the pantry to control inventory better, but no food donations will be turned down.
The Wilton Food bank along with Schuylerville Area Food and Emergency Relief (SAFER) Food pantry will take orders before clients arrive at the pantry. Participants are encouraged to order online or call-in before arriving. Drop-ins will be serviced as well but as asked to wait outside while their food order is prepared.
SARATOGA SPRINGS —Keeping ourselves and each other safe from COVID-19, some of these local businesses will be offering promotions to keep people socially distant where people can “pick-up” or have these items which are important to our daily lives delivered, instead of visiting the establishment.
The purpose of the event is to allow all Saratoga County restaurant and business owners and consumers one central location to promote current specials, promotions, delivery and pickup options.
Every industry will be touched by the coronavirus crisis, in some form, but perhaps none more immediately than bars and restaurants. We still need to eat during this time, and restaurants need the business more than ever. While some have made the difficult decision to close the doors for a period of time, others are modifying menus, instituting online/phone ordering along with providing new delivery options in addition to curbside pickup.
The list of participating restaurants can be found at saratoga.org/tourism/take-out-week; the page will be updated frequently.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Wesley Community is seeking candidates for more than 100 full-time and temporary positions to help meet the needs of aging adults residing at its senior living campus in Saratoga Springs.
Positions available include: registered nurses; licensed practical nurses; certified nursing assistants; home health aides; dining; maintenance; laundry; and housekeeping. Wesley Senior Solutions, a licensed home care service agency, is hiring companion care and personal care assistants. Paid training is available for certified nursing assistants and home health aide positions.
“The Wesley Community is looking for dedicated and compassionate candidates to work with seniors who need health care services and other quality of life assistance on our campus and in the community,” said J. Brian Nealon, CEO of The Wesley Community, in a statement. “We are offering a wide range of positions which provide an ideal opportunity for both non-clinical staff, as well as for seasoned and new healthcare professionals. Successful candidates will be rewarded with employment opportunities that will allow them to help the numerous aging adults served by The Wesley Community.”
The Wesley Community is a 37-acre, non-profit agency that provides independent and assisted living for seniors, affordable independent senior housing, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care, as well as home care services and outpatient therapies available for people of all ages.
For a full list of employment opportunities at The Wesley Community, visit www.thewesleycommunity.org/careers.
For an immediate interview, contact The Wesley Community at 518-252-0414 or visit www.thewesleycommunity.org/careers.
New Visitation & Hospital Access Policies; Hospital Establishes Separate Lab Specimen Collection Site for Approved COVID-19 Testing of Patients
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital has instituted new visitation and hospital access policies. Until further notice, enter only through the main entrance or the Alfred Z. Solomon Emergency Center.
The main entrance hours are:
Monday - Friday: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
• The Emergency Center entrance is open 24/7.
• Mollie Wilmot Radiation Oncology entrance: for cancer patients only.
• No visitors with fever, cough or shortness of breath
• All patients will be restricted to one visitor/support person. This applies to all patients, including inpatients, those who are coming to the hospital for outpatient tests or treatments, and maternity patients.
The hospital says “compassionate considerations” will be made on a case-by-case basis dependent on a patient's circumstances and nurse director or designee approval. All patients and visitors must sign in at the reception desk and follow the login procedure. No visitors under age 16.
These restrictions apply only to Saratoga Hospital, not to outpatient locations.
COVID-19 testing must be ordered by a healthcare provider or your county health department.
If you believe you have COVID-19 symptoms, or may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, do not go to any healthcare location. Instead, please call your provider. When you call, a healthcare professional will assess your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be directed to a testing site per your provider or your county public health department.
If someone believes they may be sick, people are encouraged to call their provider before going to a provider’s office or urgent care to help assess the next best steps for care and provide appropriate guidance. For example, in most mild cases, a provider visit may not be necessary.
Saratoga Hospital has established a separate lab specimen collection site for approved COVID-19 testing of patients. The temporary biocontainment facility, located outside Alfred Z. Solomon Emergency Center on Myrtle Street, is the safest way to provide this service to the community.
Patients must be referred for COVID-19 specimen collection at this site either by a licensed healthcare provider or by the New York State or Saratoga County health departments. There is no walk-in service. For more information, go to: www.saratogahospital.org/covid19.
The NYSDOH Coronavirus Hotline is a valuable resource for the most up-to-date information: 1-888-364-3065.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The City Council announced on Friday, March 13 that the City of Saratoga Springs has declared a State of Emergency. City Hall offices were closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16 and remain so until rescinded by a further order.
The City Police Department, Fire/EMS Department, and vital Public Works staff will continue to operate as normal. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. Call your health care provider FIRST if you have any concerns over your health and possible exposure to COVID-19.
The City Land Use Boards are cancelled for at least the next two weeks, including the March 27 meeting.
CITY DEPARTMENT CONTACTS:
Accounts Department: 518-210-3243 (Marilyn Rivers, Director of Risk and Safety).
Mayor’s Department: 518-414-2118 (Lisa Shields, Deputy Mayor).
Public Safety Department:
518-584-1800 (Police Department Non-Emergency)
518-587-3599 (Fire Department Non-Emergency)
518-265-6485 (Eileen Finneran, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety)
Public Works Department: 518-584-3356 (Department Dispatch).
Finance Department: Finance will be communicating regarding City payments (taxes, utility bills, etc.). Please check the City website for updates.
The Saratoga Springs School District is closed effective immediately through Sunday April 19.
Residents are encouraged to visit the City’s website at www.Saratoga-Springs.org to receive updates on City operations.
I regularly have the opportunity to walk downtown with my dog. These last several days I have noticed that there are fewer people walking with me, and as I looked into the restaurant windows saw that virtually nobody was there. I began paying attention and realized that in our efforts to socially distance ourselves we are hurting our downtown. The Skidmore students are home for an extended period, conferences in the City Center have been cancelled, and we are staying away from each other and town.
One of the greatest things about being a Saratoga resident is the access to the unique stores and restaurants downtown. They are small businesses being crushed by forces outside of their control but I think we have the opportunity to help them out. We can order a meal or two from our favorite restaurants for pick up, or even purchase a gift card for future use. Spring seems to be bearing down on us and perhaps you could use some new clothes so think about buying a gift card from one of the boutiques in town if you don’t feel comfortable shopping in person. If we are careful we can continue to shop in town, I know that the salespeople would love to have someone to talk to and you might enjoy the fact that they have the time to really help you.
Downtown is one of the things that makes this place so special and the business owners do so much to make Saratoga a welcoming place for everyone. We can show them that we appreciate all that they do by spending a bit of money right now when they need it most. Who knows when this will pass, and if we don’t step up now recovering from this may not be possible. I know that sounds dire but for small businesses it is.
- Elizabeth Whitman, Saratoga Springs