Thursday, 20 August 2020 12:24

Notes from the Chamber of Commerce: Numbers Show Saratoga County Is Leading the Way

By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business

By the time you read this, it is likely that the numbers will have changed. But it’s also very likely if the trends hold that these changes will be minimal.

You see the reality is that relatively speaking COVID-19 has spread and impacted people living in Saratoga County far less than many other places around the world, the US, New York State and the region as well.

We all mourn the 17 Saratoga County residents who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

We also understand that some of the 769 people who had COVID-19 and recovered may have to deal with lingering health issues for some time or maybe the rest of their lives.

This virus is dangerous. It is impacting local families and our neighbors. Thus, we need to continue to do everything we can to stop the spread for as long as it takes the medical community to develop a vaccine.

This starts with wearing a mask. It means avoiding large crowds and continuing to social distance from other people. It means following travel restrictions, washing our hands, etc.

As of today, Monday, August 17, 2020, we’ve had 828 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saratoga County. This means that just .0036 percent of the county’s 230,000 residents have tested positive. The 828 confirmed cases is just .014 percent of the 56,348 tests performed in Saratoga County.

The City of Saratoga Springs has had just 113 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That means just .004 percent of the City’s 28,000 residents has had the virus.

Best of all, 108 have already recovered and as of today there are just 4 active cases. 

Let’s remember that we’re in the third week of August now. Since early July, our hotels have seen an uptick in visitors, particularly during weekends. The Saratoga Race Course has been in operation for 24 days.

While we’ve seen a slight increase in positive tests, we have NOT seen a spike. The spread of this virus has been minimized by all of us doing our part and by local businesses reopening while putting the health of their employees and customers first. 

The minimal spread of this virus locally has also been managed thanks to the aggressive contact tracing performed from day one of the PAUSE by Saratoga County’s Health Department.

Just two of the Towns in Saratoga County have NOT had a single positive case - - Edinburg and Day. Several Villages have achieved zero cases as well, including: Galway, Victory and Stillwater.

But as we were advised recently in a Zoom session with Saratoga Hospital’s COVID-19 medical experts, we’re still practically looking to minimize the risk of spread versus eliminating the risk entirely.

We need to expect that there will be more positive cases. We will need to quarantine more people as more positive tests come up. We will need to continue to be diligent wearing masks and remaining socially distant.

We’re leading the way in Saratoga County as of today. 

As hard as this has been on our families and our economy, this is allowing us to reopen bowling alleys this week and fitness facilities next week. It’s positioning us to be able to safely reopen our schools next month. 

Hopefully soon if we can control the spread, we will also see our performing arts sector, the City Center, the Saratoga Casino, and local movie theaters reopen too.

Leading the way is not easy. It takes resolve. It takes focus.  It takes all of us doing our part. We’ve done that here in Saratoga County.

Let’s keep up the great work and continue to put health first so that we can recover sooner than most.

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