Displaying items by tag: COVID19

BALLSTON SPA —
Saratoga County officials announced March 3 the launch of a new Potential Vaccine Interest List phone call-in number, which will now enable residents to sign up for the vaccine interest list by telephone. A similar companion registry was launched online on Feb. 17 and has secured the names of approximately 11,000 local residents. 

As vaccines become available in the county, names are randomly selected for vaccinations and those people are notified. Signing up on the list is not a guarantee of getting a vaccine, officials noted.

Residents may continue to register directly online at www.saratogacountyny.gov/vax. The Inbound Call Center, which allows residents to sign up on the Interest List by telephone, may do so by calling 518-693-1075, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 

If registered online, there is no need to call to register again, and there is no benefit to registering multiple times, county officials said.

Saratoga County Public Health Services is directly administering the Pfizer vaccine for the first time this week. Previously, the County had only offered the Moderna vaccine. Officials said they expect to have some of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccines available “very shortly.”

More than 45,000 residents overall – nearly 20% of the county population - have received at least one dose of vaccine. About 12,000 of those residents had been vaccinated by Saratoga County Public Health Services department or the county’s partners in the local EMS community. Just over 24,000, or more than 10% of county residents, have completed their vaccination series with both doses. 

“In addition to our own clinics, we will continue to engage with our partners throughout the county to distribute vaccine as quickly as possible and hold mass-vaccination clinic events when supplies warrant,” said Saratoga Springs Supervisor Tara Gaston, who also is chair of the county Health Committee. Eighteen locations around the county have been identified as mass vaccination sites, including the Saratoga Springs City Center, and when the county is delivered from the state ample supply of vaccine to open a mass vax site, the county is prepared to do so, Gaston added. 

Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine – which does not require cold storage – has arrived in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, during his presser on March 3. Approximately 164,800 doses are anticipated in that first J & J tranche and will be distributed while supplies last at mass vaccination sites to be open 24/7 later this week at Yankee Stadium, the Javits Center, and the New York State Fair. 

The governor also announced new Gathering Limits. In effect March 22, residential gatherings maintain at 10 indoor, but go up to 25 outdoor. Social Gatherings in public spaces go up to 100 people indoors, 200 people outdoors. 

Beginning April 2, event, arts & entertainment venues reopen at 33% capacity, up to 100 people indoor, 200 people outdoor.  With attendee testing, capacity increases to 150 indoor, 500 outdoor. Masks and social distancing protocols still required. 

Infection-wise, Saratoga County’s 7-day rolling average percent positivity is 2.3%, as of March 4.  “The continued progress that is being made in the county is encouraging,” said Dr. Daniel Kuhles, commissioner of Saratoga County Public Health Services. “However, it is imperative that we do not lower our guard and leave our communities and hospitals vulnerable to another surge in cases.”

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — In addition to being at the forefront of Skidmore’s COVID-19 pandemic response, members of the College’s Health Services staff have been helping to administer coronavirus vaccines to front-line health care workers, educators and other eligible vaccine candidates in the local community.

The College has worked closely with Saratoga County Public Health Services (SCPHS) — and in accordance with the latest New York state and Centers for Disease Control guidance — in developing and implementing comprehensive health and safety measures on campus. 

The Skidmore Health Services team has been vital to organizing COVID-19 surveillance testing, quarantine and isolation, and contact tracing efforts. 

Six members of the Health Services team also serve in the county Medical Reserve Corps, which supports disaster relief groups, community safety organizations, emergency medical services and community public health efforts. 

Published in Education
Thursday, 04 February 2021 12:52

Vaccines

• Approximately 300,000 doses per week are anticipated to be received by the state from the federal government for distribution.  Additionally, a new federal government program will supply private pharmacies in New York with an additional 30,000 doses per week. 

• Statewide: Approximately 2 million vaccine doses have been administered and of those nearly 20% of those vaccinated have received both doses. Locally, more than 22,000 Saratoga County residents have received one dose of COVID vaccine, and more than 5,000 Saratoga County residents have received both doses. In all, this accounts for more than 12% of county residents having been administered at least one dose of COVID vaccine. 

• 7.1 million of a total population of 15 million New Yorkers are eligible for vaccines right now. Local governments may now add restaurant workers to vaccine eligibility lists. That call to add is up to local governments, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week. 

• The COVID infection rate in Saratoga County this week dropped to a weekly rolling average of 4%. This is down from a peak high of 11% on Jan. 7 and signifies the lowest infection rate in the county since the days immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday.     

• Hospitalizations: The percentage of hospital beds available, and percentage of ICU beds available in the eight-county Capital Region of which Saratoga is a part, each remain among the worst in the state, as has been the case for the past several weeks.

• The county has a hold agreement with the Saratoga Springs City Center so the building may be used as a mass vaccination center when sufficient amounts of vaccine have been obtained. That determination will be made by county Public Health officials and at this time a date has yet to be targeted for its use. 

• Important to know: After being notified of an unexpected increase in vaccine allocation, Saratoga County has recently focused on vaccinating seniors, both at county public health and directly at people’s homes. Many of those who were vaccinated came from the county’s Special Needs Registry. That registry includes county residents or caregivers of an individual with special needs such as mobility impairment, developmental disability, major respiratory illness, etc. County residents or caregivers of an individual with special needs may fill out the Special Needs Registry Application form accessible via: saratogacountyny.gov.

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A mass vaccine city site. A central online county information site. The creation of and the funding of a COVID Response support staff. 

Amid the rapid flux of ever-evolving information related to COVID-19 and to vaccinations, the city and the county made strides this week to provide accessible information to the public as well as solidify plans for the dispensing of vaccines – in preparation for that time when vaccines become more readily available.    

First up, the Saratoga Springs City Center was this week approved as a mass COVID-19 vaccine site. The county lease of the site will immediately kick in when “sufficient vaccine doses” are delivered to the county by the state. That sufficient quantity determination will be made by newly appointed county Health Commissioner, Dr. Daniel Kuhle. 

“In general, we are notified about 24 hours before we receive vaccines about how many we can expect to get,” says Tara Gaston, Saratoga Springs city Supervisor and newly named as chair of the county’s Health and Social Services Committee. “I don’t anticipate that it’s going to be thousands within the next couple of weeks, but the goal is to be ready if that happens. Under the current state guidance, once we have the vaccines, we must use them within seven days. We have to be ready and able to move as quickly as possible.”     

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to the resolution regarding the City Center, which was introduced by Gaston. 

“The idea is that it will be in the main hall. We have to work out the layout, but I envision temperature stations before people come in. Then you come in, check in at the table, get your shot and then you have to wait your 15 minutes or half-hour depending on whether you have allergies or not,” said Ryan McMahon, executive director and president at the City Center

“It’s a month-to-month lease where they can turn it on for a month, turn it off for a month. I don’t think anyone thinks we’re going to (immediately) get enough vaccines next week. Part of this is the county’s ability to prepare. This way they can come in, we can set the room up, establish how they want it, get lines running for their computers and get all the infrastructure ready so that if they find out, say, on a Friday night they’re getting the vaccines, then we can be open on Saturday morning,” McMahon said. “We know how to move people through a space, particularly this space very well, so we’re going to advise and collaborate on a plan about how to physically do it, but it’s their show.”      

The lease of the space at the City Center was authorized at a cost up to just over $49,000 per month. “We want to help in any way we can. In a normal year I would just eat the cost of this, but right now we can’t take on an additional expense. We have shut down operations for the most part - we don’t even have the HVAC systems on, and we’re barely surviving,” said McMahon, explaining the incremental cost to the county is to get everything back up and running, from the HVAC systems to the cleaning staff –  whom were laid off. 

A second resolution introduced by Gaston – also receiving unanimous support by the county Board of Supervisors will see the creation of temporary COVID Response Support Personnel, and a COVID Response Coordinator, who will assist the public health department in response to the pandemic. Those positions will earn a base salary of $22/hour and $25/hour, respectively, and will be filled “as needed.”  The county set aside approximately $183,000 from its fund balance to fulfill those wage needs.    

The county will also be upgrading its COVID-19 web dashboard to use state data methodology, in a mission to be less confusing and more accessible. The county recently adjusted the main page of its website to provide immediate access to COVID-related information.   

“This is a change. Any information we get is going to be on the front page of our website in a red box, and it will change as we get more information,” Gaston said. The page includes official links to vaccination registrations, finding current test sites and other COVID-19 resources for individuals and families.  The site may be accessed at: www.saratogacountyny.gov. 

As of this week, nearly 3.5% of the county’s approximate 230,000 county residents had tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the epidemic, and about 6.5% of the population has been at least partially vaccinated. 

“In the city of Saratoga Springs, we have 540 active cases,” city Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton told the council at its Jan. 19 meeting. “The good news is the 7-day rolling average for positivity rates has dropped (in the county) from 11.3% to 8.8% - which is terrific. However, our hospitalizations have almost doubled in the last ten days; currently we have 106 people hospitalized as opposed to 51 ten days ago. This is representative of the lagging nature of these metrics, of when people get sick and then when they need to get hospitalized.” 

In the greater eight-county Capital Region of which Saratoga is a part, hospitalizations – with 553 COVID patients - hit an all-time high, and 91 of those patients are in the ICU. New York State is separated into 10 different regions, and the Capital Region has the fewest percentage of hospital beds (25%) and ICU beds (19%) available of all regions statewide, according to the NYS DOH.    

“There are not nearly enough vaccines to get as many people vaccinated as we want to,” Dalton added. “We get a tiny amount every week and I know people are frustrated getting access to appointments and having to travel very far – to Plattsburg and Utica. We know that and we are working on it. This is an imperfect system.” 

Gaston expressed similar frustration. “New York State has provided directives to anyone who has access to vaccinate individuals. That tells us who we are allowed to vaccinate; just because you have been deemed eligible by the state does not mean that you can get vaccinated at your health department, or at a pharmacy,” Gaston said. 

“Medical workers are required to be vaccinated by hospitals. Seniors are required to be vaccinated by pharmacies. And our local health department – Saratoga County Public Health Services - can only vaccinate people who fall into a number of essential worker groups that includes police, fire, teachers, front-facing grocery store workers. If you are a senior and you want a vaccine from our local public health services – we cannot do this at this time.” 

Deviating from the governor’s directives can result in severe fines and penalties, Gaston added. “We are working as a county and with other counties to change this – to allow us to use those plans to keep people as safe as possible as quickly as possible, and I think it’s important people know we share the frustration. We all have to be patient but unfortunately we are restricted by these mandates which are not reflective of the long-standing work the public health department has done in the area of vaccinations.” 

In addition to the naming of the Saratoga Springs City Center as a mass vaccination site, more than one dozen other smaller, unnamed venues have been evaluated and approved for providing vaccinations across the county and Gaston said among the county’s other coordinated plans - “going into homes, going into shelters, delivering vaccines directly to seniors” – are pending the governor’s lifting of existing directives prohibiting those plans from being enacted.

Published in News

UNITED STATES — Airline passengers will be required to show proof that they have either tested negative or have recovered from COVID before they board an international flight to the U.S. starting Jan. 26, according to a new order by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The notice and order by the CDC stipulates the negative pre-departure test must be “conducted on a specimen collected during the three calendar days preceding the flight’s departure” from a foreign country. 

If the passenger has recovered from COVID-19, passenger may instead travel with documentation that confirms previous infection and a letter from a licensed health care provider or official stating that the passenger has been cleared for travel. 

The airline is charged with verifying every passenger over the age of 2 has the documentation  of a negative test or a document of recovery from COVID-19. 

The order applies to all “aircraft” – commercial, general aviation and private aircraft destined for the U.S. from a foreign country.  For more information, please visit cdc.gov. 

Published in News

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week named Saratoga County Public Health Services and Saratoga Hospital as among the best performing in administering vaccines they were allocated. Both had a 100% rating. It is an important achievement moving forward. 

As of Jan. 18, 13,442 Saratoga County residents had received one dose of COVID vaccine and 1,323 Saratoga County residents had received two doses of COVID vaccine, according to Saratoga County Public Health Services. 

“We will allocate more doses to the faster, better performing facilities. Those that can vaccinate faster will get more of the allocation,” said Cuomo, noting the allocation from the federal government to the state – which then allocates the vaccines across New York is not high enough. 

There are 7.1 million New Yorkers currently eligible for vaccines. At the current rate of allocation, it will take 6 to 7 months for those people to get vaccinated, Cuomo said. “The federal government must increase supply to the states now.” 

The governor said he crafted a letter this week to the chairman of Pfizer, asking if New York can buy vaccine dosages directly from Pfizer.    

Among the percent of hospital workers vaccinated: Glens Falls Hospital leads the region (85.5%), followed by Albany Medical Center (81.1%); Columbia Memorial Hospital (73.4%), and Saratoga Hospital – which has 69.3% of its hospital workers vaccinated. St. Peter’s Hospital - at 65.4%, Ellis Hospital – at 64.6% are among the hospitals with the lowest percentage of its workers vaccinated, Cuomo said. 

The concern is that the lower vaccinated hospital staffs will be the first hospitals to have capacity problems in a surge situation. 

“Again, facilities with slower vaccination rates will get less of new allocation. Our allocation is nowhere near enough. You want to maximize it, so places that can get it out first will get priority.” 

The weekly vaccine allocation by the federal government to New York State (numbers rounded up):

Dec. 14-20: 170,000.
Dec. 21-27: 467,000.
Dec. 28- Jan. 3: 274,000.
Jan. 4 – 10: 240,000.
Jan. 11 – 17: 240,000. 

Published in News

ALBANY — The first confirmed case of the UK strain of COVID-19 virus in New York State was detected in Saratoga Springs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Jan. 4. 

The new strain was detected by the Department of Health’s Wadsworth laboratory as part of the state’s UK strain testing program and was traced back to someone affiliated with Broadway’s N. Fox Jewelers. 

“It’s a gentleman who is in his 60s. He was symptomatic, but he is on the mend and he’s doing better,” Cuomo said. The sample was originally done in Saratoga Hospital and then was one of the samples that Wadsworth received as part of their UK testing program. Three others at the jewelry store tested positive for COVID-19, but it was not immediately known whether that was also part of the UK strain. 

The COVID variant first discovered in the U.K. is reported to be 70 percent more contagious than the normal COVID strain, although it is not believed, on its own, to be more lethal. 

“It seems to be a little bit more easily spread and travel a little more quickly than the virus we know,” said Saratoga County EMS Coordinator Mike McEvoy. “It does not appear at this point to make people more sick or cause different types of illness and seemingly can be vaccinated against with the same vaccine. It concerns us in a sense that if there is a wide-spread outbreak of it, we would have more people ill in the community faster and our capacity to take care of those people in public health and in the hospitals could potentially be compromised with the speed that we’ve seen it spread in other locations,” McEvoy said.   

“The key thing is the message we’ve been preaching since March or April: wear your mask, wash your hands as often as you can, and try to limit your social interaction with large groups of people. Stay with people who you know.” 

The state Department of Health initiated what it called “aggressive contact tracing” related to people who may have visited the jeweler between Dec. 18 and Dec. 24, to learn if the specific viral strain has infected others. Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 5, the department set up a free testing area near Peerless Pool in the Spa State Park to specifically test people who were in contact or in the Spa City jewelry shop Dec. 18-24, for the UK COVID strain. Pre-registration was required.  Howard Zucker, Commissioner of Health for New York State said it takes about 44 hours to learn results regarding the B117 strain, as it is known. 

N. Fox Jewelers released a brief statement to say it is working with the state health department on COVID-19 UK strain tracing and is voluntarily extending its store closure until further information can be provided by state and county health officials.The store reopened late in the week. 

“Containment is vitally important,” Cuomo said. “This is a virus we have to be extra careful with. The numbers are frightening on the increase of the transmittal of (this strain of) the virus. Even if the lethality doesn’t go up the fact that it is so much more transmittable is a very real problem.”      

Published in News
Thursday, 17 December 2020 15:37

Contact Tracing On The Way

BALLSTON SPA — In March, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors authorized $1 million to be directed to battling the spread of COVID-19. There were 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Saratoga County at the time. 

In May, the Board authorized Saratoga County Administrator Spencer Hellwig to hire as many as 50 Contact Tracers at the rate of $25 per hour – the costs to be paid from the appropriated $1 million fund. 

Seven months later, with the number of cases nearing a total of 4,000 in Saratoga County, $800,000 of that $1 million has remained unused, and only 23 Contact Tracers employed.   

“We authorized 50 Contact Tracers. In November it came to my understanding that we only had 23 Contact Tracers,” says Tara Gaston, one of two city supervisors who represent Saratoga Springs at the county level. “Whether anyone in leadership knew about it, I don’t know, but that’s when I learned we had only hired 23.  Before that, it hadn’t been discussed. And it was about this same time that we determined that New York State - which had promised us to be able to use their Contact Tracers – was going to limit our access.  So, it became an even larger concern,” she says. 

“I do think mistakes have been made - some at the individual level, and some as a result of the Board of Supervisors not setting this forth as a priority,” Gaston says. “When the request was made for 50 Contact Tracers, we were under the impression that was sufficient, and we were also under the impression that if it was insufficient someone would come and tell us.” There are 21 municipalities represented by 23 supervisors from all across Saratoga seated at the county board. “We have not done what we should have done. I should have done better. We all should have done better.” 

On Dec. 15, Gaston introduced a measure to allow the hire of 25 additional Contact Tracers – which would bring the allowable number of hires up to 75 in all – as well as 5 Supervising Contact Tracers. That number of 75 would bring the number of county Contact Tracers in line with the Johns Hopkins standard of about 30 Tracers per 100,000 people, as well as allow a slight buffer zone should any workers step down.

A second measure she introduced targets $100,000 of the $800,000 remaining in COVID county funds for the purchase of PPE and masks for distribution in the community. 

The $100,000 PPE allotment is broken down this way:  $75,000 targeted for masks to be distributed to the general public in the community; $25,000 specifically set aside for any form of PPE – masks, gowns, gloves, or face shields – targeting the local population at higher risk like EMS workers, police officers, and “communities of lower economic power,” Gaston says, such as those who are unhoused.

Saratoga Springs City Supervisor Matt Veitch expressed his support for both resolutions. The county Board subsequently approved both measures.     

After spiking in the spring, local infection rates subsequently were reduced and remained below 1 % through most of the summer. The 7-day rolling average COVID-19 positive infection rate doubled from 0.6% on Oct. 1 to 1.2% on Nov. 1 in Saratoga County. From Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, it more than tripled to 3.8%, and has subsequently continued to rise – by mid-December climbing to near 6%, the highest 7-day average rate registered in Saratoga County since April. 

Contact tracing helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 by rapidly interviewing positive patients, identifying and alerting their close contacts to prevent the spread of the infection to others. 

Here’s how it is designed to work: When a person tests positive, a COVID Contact Tracer works with the person to identify and reach out via phone and text to anyone they’ve been in contact with while infectious to trace and contain the spread of the virus. People who have come in close contact with someone who is positive are then asked to stay home and limit their contact with others. The Tracer will also connect persons infected with support and resources they may need through quarantine, such as help getting groceries or household supplies, child care, medical care or supplies. 

Saratoga County’s contact tracing program operates 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. This week’s vote by the Board authorizes the additional hiring of up to 25 Contact Tracers at the rate of $25 per hour, and up to five Supervising Contact Tracers at a rate of compensation of $30 per hour. 

On Nov. 19, the county’s Department of Public Health posted a flyer indicating it was seeking individuals interested in working as Contact Tracers. A subsequent notice, posted Dec. 11, indicated a large number of applications had been received and that no new applications were being accepted. It is unclear whether the Board’s actions of Dec. 15 would trigger a new “Contact Tracers Wanted” request. The Dec. 11 post informs: Please check back on Dec. 18 for an update. The Saratoga County website may be found at: saratogacountyny.gov. 

Published in News

BALLSTON SPA — Dr. Daniel Kuhles, the county’s new Commissioner of Public Health, held a live forum Dec. 4, when he provided a regional and state overview related to COVID-19 strategies, as well as an update of the pending federal vaccination program. 

Kuhles, a resident of Saratoga Springs and a medical doctor, was appointed to the newly created Commissioner position in November following a four-month-long search for candidates by the county Board of Supervisors. The position carries a base salary of $132,446 and a term of six years. Job responsibilities include directing, managing and regulating the Department’s delivery of public health services throughout Saratoga County. 

The 53-minute forum, first broadcast live on Dec. 4, may be viewed at the Saratoga County Public Health Services Facebook page.

Infection percentage rates in Saratoga County have doubled each month since August, and topped 4% this week on a rolling 7-day average, marking the highest infection rate since mid-May. 

“The overall trend is going upwards in a direction we do not want to see it go,” Kuhles says. 

Regional hospitalization rates due to COVID-19 – one of the biggest criteria the state says it now will use to determine potential shutdown strategies - was at an all-time high this week, with over 220 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the eight-county Capital Region designation, of which Saratoga County is a part.

During his presser Dec. 7, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who warned of a potential “dark time” in January if public health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing and attention to detail during even small gatherings are not followed. The result of gatherings during the Thanksgiving holiday will become evident Dec. 15-20, he said, followed by a potential surge if additional gatherings are held during the December holidays.   

“Potentially, a surge upon a surge,” Fauci said. “If those things happen and we don’t mitigate well, we don’t listen to the public health measures we need to follow, we can start to see things really get bad in the middle of January…the middle of January could be a really dark time for us.”

Regarding vaccinations, Fauci said he anticipated a substantial number of health care providers and people in nursing homes will begin receiving vaccinations later this month, with essential workers and those at high-risk due to health issues having the ability to be vaccinated in the early months of 2021. 

The vaccination(s) require two shots.  “Say you get vaccinated today, then you get a boost 28 days later, and 7 to 10 days after that second shot, you’re optimally protected,” Fauci explained. 

“I would think by the time you get to the beginning of April, you’ll start getting people who have no priority, just a normal person who has no underlying conditions. If we get them vaccinated, a full-court press, and you do that through April, May and June, by the time you get to the summer, the end of the summer and the start of the third quarter of 2021 – we should be in good shape. That’s what I’m hoping for,” Fauci said.   

Published in News
Thursday, 08 October 2020 13:12

NY Opts In - Will You?

ALBANY —  The state has launched a mobile contact tracing app in partnership with Apple and Google software that will alert smartphone users if they were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. 

COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app created for the purposes of contact tracing. Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect individuals, their families, and entire communities, according to the CDC. It lets people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and that they should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of the virus.

“Contact tracing is awesome and our (Saratoga County) contact tracers have been working very hard – but it also relies on your memory,” says Tara Gaston, one of two Saratoga Springs Supervisors representing the city at the county level. “If you have COVID and you’re diagnosed, they ask you: Where have you been? Do you remember when you went to that gas station, and did you brush up against that person? Do you remember when you saw your neighbor out in the front?’ It relies on you remembering every place you’ve been, who you’ve been in contact with.” 

The expectation is the app will “remember” contacts in greater detail than the human memory, and it will do so without compromising privacy or personal information. 

“What I do right now is I have a Proximity List,” explains city resident Charlie Samuels, an awards-winning director and photographer and early supporter of the potential benefits of the system. “I’m a documentarian, so I write down everybody I come close contact with.  I have my own list. But who else keeps a list? And sometimes I forget. This would be an easy, non-thinking way to do that.” 

In April, Apple and Google – normally competitors in business - announced plans to collaborate on building COVID-19 software into iPhone and Android operating systems.  On Oct. 1, in partnership with Google and Apple, the New York State Department of Health launched the COVID Alert NY app which enables the software to be used, for those who choose to do so. 

The app leverages a private and secure Bluetooth-based technology that alerts you if a sick person spends 10 minutes or more within 6 feet of you, and lets you alert others if you have tested positive without revealing anyone’s identity, according to the state Department of Health.   

“The important thing is it doesn’t tell you where you came in contract with them, or when – except that it would have been sometime in the previous 14 days,” Gaston said. “It can be beneficial, and I love the idea especially because there’s also so much privacy built into it. I’m a big pro-ponent of privacy and I don’t want people’s information being shared.” 

The more people who download COVID Alert NY, the more effective it will be. The free mobile app is available to anyone 18 or older who lives, works, or attends college in New York or New Jersey, and is available for download from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. COVID Alert NY is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Russian and Haitian Creole. 

Published in News
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  • COURT Coleen R. Riley, 32, of Clifton Park, was sentenced June 9 to five years of probation, after pleading to felony burglary in the third-degree.  Louis S. Guerra, 46, of the Bronx, pleaded June 9 to criminal contempt in the first-degree, and aggravated family offense – both felonies, in connection with allegations first charged in June 2020 in Saratoga Springs. Sentencing Sept. 22.  Zachary Gaspie, 20, of Mechanicville, pleaded June 9 to possessing a sexual performance by a child, a felony. Sentencing Aug. 11.  Jeremy M. Depasquale, was sentenced June 9 to 1.5 to 3 years in state priosn, after…

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