Displaying items by tag: COVID19
I struggled to write this column more so than any before…maybe ever.
It just seems to me these days that ALL we read and hear about is COVID 19. There are some heroic stories. There are lots of tragic ones too.
A few in the local media have asked me questions to produce stories meant to provoke fear and anxiety. They ask hypothetic questions where I’m asked to predict the future and to comment on it. I’ve always said no thanks. I want to talk about facts and actions.
Turn on the television. Turn on the radio. It’s all COVID 19. Even the commercials are about new cleaning products or what this corporation is doing to help during this pandemic.
Check on social media and it’s almost entirely COVID 19 stories and a bunch of people posting photos from their high school yearbooks.
So I’d really like to write about something else.
I’ve been telling people that this is the week where the Chamber is transitioning. We’ve gone from near 24/7 triage as we tried to help our members and others in the community with the immediate impact of this attack to now developing a plan for our local recovery.
We may not know when exactly we’ll all start to transition to a new normal but the recovery will come.
Let’s talk about and write about what we’d like to see our communities do and be when we recover.
I love the fact that Saratoga’s theme is “Health. History. Horses.” I love that in Saratoga HEALTH has always come first here. But do we need to settle any longer for just three words to describe us. Could we add a fourth word – Arts!
That’s something worth talking and writing about.
After living through this pandemic, I’d like to talk about and write about and listen to ideas about how we really make HEALTH number one.
If we do this, we WILL attract new people and new businesses to our City and Saratoga County.
I think we’re all going to pay way more attention to our personal and our economic health than we have in a long time.
Talent is going to go where it’s healthy to live. Where the talent goes so will the companies or maybe they’ll let us live here while working remotely.
Many of us have learned to work remotely. Our children have learned to learn remotely too. So this could be a game changer for a generation.
Let’s talk about and write about and figure out how we can locally source more of the things we really need.
Let’s not run out of toilet paper again. Let’s not have to beg people for masks to protect our health care workers and essential workers.
Let’s make sure our local farms survive so we have local food whenever we need it.
Things are going to change for sure. And we’re learning how to adapt.
So let’s write about and talk about our future. What can we do better? What should we do differently? What will make Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County an even better place to live, work and play?
Right now, I have more questions than answers.
So send me your answers to these questions. Share with me your thoughts and ideas. I need some good ones as we start to plan our local recovery effort.
And I’m hoping you’d also like to write and read and talk more about our future and our recovery than what we’ve been seeing and hearing for the last four weeks.
BALSTON SPA — Saratoga County officials - featuring staff from the Department of Public Health, the Office of Mental Health and Office of Emergency Services - hosted a Facebook Live event April 14. Among the information they shared is the following:
• As of April 14: 229 county patients had tested positive for the coronavirus and 122 of those 229 have recovered at this time.
• Fifteen people were hospitalized, and of those, five people were on ventilators. This number is down from the eight people who were on ventilators one day earlier; the three people who came off the ventilators were in stable condition. All those hospitalized are Saratoga County residents.
• Approximately 1,000 people had been quarantined under a mandatory quarantine/isolation order. Those 1,000 people had been in contact with the 229 people who had tested positive. Of those, 539 had since been cleared, released from quarantine and have recovered.
“What the public health department is doing is when someone is positive there is an infectability period and we look at every move that person made during that time frame. They identify to us where they’d been and who they’d been in contact with. We then reach out to each individual who is then at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 and we place them in isolation. That way if they become ill, they will not infect others.”
Testing sites: Saratoga Hospital has limited capacity; Albany has a drive-thru at the campus of SUNY- Albany campus, and Warren County has a testing site at their municipal site.
How to take a test: “Warren County requires a prescription from a doctor and an appointment. For Albany, you can go to the New York State Department of Health website where you can fill out a form to receive the test. However, they’re not testing everybody. There is a priority for someone who is ill and showing symptoms of illness, as well as health care workers. If you’re asymptomatic and you just want to have a test because you’re worried, then you may not be tested at this time. If you’re asymptomatic – you’ve had no symptoms, but you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive, you’d be higher on the list.”
Is testing for antibodies available in the area? Not yet. Antibody testing is coming along, and there is a ramping up and developing of capabilities to widely disseminate testing, but it hasn’t come to the area yet. There is a trial underway at Albany Med St. Peter’s that gives plasma from people who have recovered from COVID to patients who are actively affected. People who have recovered can also have their antibodies tested as part of being a donor for that program.
Why has there been no disclosure of specific municipalities within the county where residents have tested positive? “We have cases in every area of our county, cases in every zip code. Giving zip codes at this point could be giving out a false sense of security of people are thinking: ‘oh there’s only one case that lives in my area.’ You have to assume that everyone has (the potential) to be positive at this time.”
The Department of Public Health encourages all individuals to wear a mask any time they are out in public. Given mask shortages, it directs residents to the CDC website as a helpful resource that outlines how to wear a mask and instructions on how to make a homemade mask. That link can be accessed at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
SARATOGA SPRINGS — FLAG Saratoga announced in just one week they have raised more than $22,000 to help feed the front line workers during the Covid-19 pandemic while also keeping Saratoga-area restaurants in business.
To kick off their efforts, staff members at Saratoga Hospital were treated to a delicious Easter Dinner on Sunday from Panzas Restaurant. To date, there have been more than 500 "FLAG" meals arranged and delivered to the front line workers at Saratoga Hospital, Wilton Medical Arts and Malta Medical Care.
FLAG Saratoga was organized by four Saratoga residents: Nadine Burke, Becky Kern, Andrea Macy and Lisa Munter. It was inspired by an organization that had started in New Jersey and has grown into a national movement with local chapters in 21 states and growing.
Working along with the Saratoga Hospital Foundation as well as the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce. So far, more than a dozen restaurants and eateries have signed up including: Panzas, Putnam Market, Saratoga Broadway Deli, the Palette Café and more.
The Saratoga Hospital Foundation will work directly with the restaurants in ordering, delivering and distributing meals based on the needs of the staff. There will also be break-room snacks and grab-and-go boxes also provided.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that we have received from the entire community,” said co-founder, Nadine Burke. “I knew that Saratoga would be the perfect place to organize a local Flag group. Our area is filled with so many generous and resilient people who are always willing to give back and help each other.”
Resilience is defined as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity.
And in these last four weeks, I’ve seen so much resilience here in Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County as we face significant adversity from COVID 19.
Seeing people and businesses adapt has helped me stay hopeful and optimistic. Here’s a few examples…
My wife purchased, picked up and has planted beautiful pansies in our backyard from Sunnyside Gardens without ever seeing anyone.
Racing City Brewing delivered a growler of beer to my front porch. They left me a kind note indicating that I was their first Take Out delivery.
Impressions of Saratoga is delivering Porch Packages with local products to brighten up your day.
Today is Day 25 of the Max Level Fitness daily workout program. Every day, they have shared a workout routine anyone can do from home.
Just one week ago on a conference call with local bankers, the SBA referred to the roll out of the Paycheck Protection program as building an airplane while it is flying.
Yet the next day and all through the weekend, local bank employees did everything they could to get our local small businesses approved for these loans.
Wellspring expanded its efforts to support survivors of relationship and sexual abuse by offering an internet based chat hotline since they can’t meet in person and because incidences of domestic violence and sexual assault increase during times of uncertainty.
CAPTAIN Community Human Services established three completely separate employee teams to ensure redundancy should a staff member become sick at a time when the need for their services has doubled.
Employers who are still hiring moved almost entirely to using virtual interviews as they sought to provide local jobs to those now suddenly looking for one.
The Holiday Inn and Shelters of Saratoga created a temporary shelter in the hotel for those among us who are homeless.
Employees at Saratoga Hospital who are on the front-line of this fight vs COVID 19 have adapted and become heroes among us for their bravery, skill, and compassion. And in return, local volunteers teamed up with the Saratoga Hospital Foundation to raise money to purchase meals for these Hospital employees from local restaurants.
Local breweries crafted a new local brew called Negative Input with the proceeds from all sales being donated to help local hospitality workers who are
The Children’s Museum at Saratoga hosted their 30th Anniversary Gala “To Go” and reported that it was a huge success.
In the face of adversity, these organizations and so many, many others in our local communities are adapting.
We’re doing business differently. We’re raising money differently. We’re helping others differently. We’re finding opportunities where we can be in control. We’re collaborating. We’re then doing something good and positive.
It is these actions that prove we are resilient. That we can and will overcome this threat.
That’s why I remain hopeful and optimistic and you should too.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Hospitals have become the epicenter of COVID-19 around the world, and while most feelings concerning COVID-19 include fear and anxiety with the unknown, two women at the center of it all boiled their experience thus far with COVID-19 down to one word: heartwarming.
Dr. Jacqueline Smith, hospitalist, is a member of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Inpatient Medicine at Saratoga Hospital. She works with Clinical Coordinator Christina (Chrissy) Citarella, BSN, RN. Citarella is a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse working with inpatients. Both women have worked countless hours since COVID-19 hit the community in early March.
On January 20, 2020 a 35-year-old man returned to his home in Washington state after recently travelling to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. That date marks the first recorded case of the virus in the United States. News across the states travelled fast, and Citarella said the first change she noticed in her usual daily routine was the unknown surrounding the virus at the time.
“Initially, when we started hearing about the COVID patients—that the hospital would potentially be seeing these patients—we had a lot of questions, a lot of uncertainty, and the staff just wanting to know what was our plan, what are we doing here,” Citarella said.
Both Citarella and Smith said they started self-isolation early on due to their jobs in the healthcare industry. Citarella said she wanted to keep herself, family, and co-workers safe and took to extreme social distancing as the best approach.
In her own personal life, Smith said she experienced the same initial changes the rest of the world had, and started to self-isolate weeks before the rest of the community on principle, because she was working in the hospital.
“I considered myself high risk and took every precaution possible to avoid being with other people,” Smith said.
In her professional life, Smith said COVID-19 is a daily-changing thing. Since beginning to work with patients who had the disease, everything changed in the way they practiced. Daily conversations involving personal protective equipment (PPE) have happened regularly since.
“We have constant conversations about PPE and how to keep ourselves safe. We’ve seen a ton of innovation, which is so heartwarming, in terms of different ideas for PPE. It’s been very useful. So every day is a brand new experience, really,” Smith said.
Angelo Calbone, President and CEO of Saratoga Hospital, shared his perspective concerning the hospital and how the institution has worked as a collective with other hospitals. Calbone said they coordinate through an early morning call with all the institutions throughout the region as a daily check-in. During that call, they compare notes, share approaches and learnings, and get a sense of what each institution is experiencing and how they’re managing it.
“For the first time in my career, the entire region is functioning, in some ways, as a single health system and not really as competitors. It’s been a satisfying, but unique, experience that I think is helping prepare all the institutions, including Saratoga, really to be in the best position,” Calbone said. “As a collective, we have discussed and implemented changes, such as checking temperatures at all of our doors and timing the curtailment of visitors…we did that in somewhat of a coordinated fashion. We shared how we’re each using our protective equipment for our staff, testing the science and keeping an eye toward what makes our staff safest.”
While the virus forces the community apart, Smith said she was profoundly struck by the mixed emotions COVID-19 brought with it. She said working with a disease that is known as scary—and not yet over—creates questions concerning the unknowns of the virus. However, along with that feeling of fear and sadness the virus creates, Smith countered, “People truly need us, so that is rewarding.”
Calbone has seen that rewarding sense reflected in hospital workers. He couldn’t think of an adjective strong enough to describe the extent to which Saratoga Hospital staff have invested their commitment to patients. He said the time and energy spent in having good plans in place appears to be paying off well, and the staff has left him in awe.
“Their focus, calmness, and ability to take this work on while keeping their heads up has just been…we always knew we had a great staff but really seeing them work through this has been just impressive,” Calbone said.
Smith reflected the same ideas as she mentioned her own amazement with not only the nursing staff, but with other staff, such as the kitchen and cleaning crews. She described everyone as being high quality, caring, and willing to help with whatever anyone needs, creating an amazing atmosphere at work.
A key part in that atmosphere is the interaction both Smith and Citarella have with patients. Smith described her interactions as heartwarming, stating patients appreciate them in return and feel concerned about the staff, which she said is highly unusual.
“It’s a comfort to me. As much as we care, they’re caring as well,” Citarella said.
Smith said, “It also feels very heartwarming to me, caring about those patients. I want to cheer when someone leaves the hospital—I’m just so happy for them.”
Saratoga County reported its first COVID-19 case on March 7, 2020. On March 27, 2020, Saratoga County reported its first COVID-19 death. Despite the span of increasing reported cases over the last month, Calbone said social distancing is key to helping stop the spread. As of April 7, 2020, the Saratoga County Office of Emergency Services reported 167 confirmed cases in the county.
“Social distancing and staying at home are the very best things the public can do right now. Our impression is that it’s working and having a positive impact. It hasn’t stopped this, but we do think we are seeing signs that the rate of growth is slowing, which allows all the regional hospitals to better manage the influx. We appreciate what the community is doing, we can tell, and we think it’s working,” Calbone said.
THE UNKNOWN & THE UNCERTAINTY
After reporting the county’s first case one month ago, both Smith and Citarella noticed fear isn’t playing a large part in the virus anymore. They said they no longer see fear in patient’s or co-worker’s eyes as they work with the virus.
“This is very scary, but I have to say, the staff has done an absolutely phenomenal job being extremely professional and calm. I don’t see fear in people’s eyes. I think everyone just wants to help and that is pretty amazing,” Citarella said.
Both women said they feel very safe while working at the hospital, but that feeling changes as soon as they step out of that environment. Citarella is living at her home with her husband, practicing social distancing even inside the home. Besides an occasional trip to the grocery store, Citarella said she keeps to herself.
“I feel very safe [at work]. Being out in the grocery store—it’s the unknown and the uncertainty there,” Citarella said.
Smith said she currently lives by herself, so while it’s easy to self-isolate, the biggest challenge she faces is venturing out to get groceries.
“I have not been to a grocery store in probably a month, and I’ve managed to order things online, but I can’t do that anymore. They’re just not available. I’m going to have to go to a grocery store. I’ve put it off for three weeks now,” Smith said. “I’m becoming a really creative cook,” Smith finished with a laugh.
But it’s no laughing matter for those who travel to the grocery store. From being exposed safely to COVID-19 on a daily basis, Smith doesn’t feel that she should be in a grocery store but simply has no other choice. To keep the safe feeling they have inside the hospital when they are out in public places, such as grocery stores, both women said social distancing is key in uncontrolled environments.
“What influences people to do the right thing? [By not social distancing] people are not choosing the right thing. Why do they do that…I don’t know,” Smith said.
Calbone reflected those same feelings about the safe environment the hospital generates. He said a combination of limited building access, proper hand washing hygiene, and masking has all contributed to create that protected environment.
“We have long-established protocols and products here on how we disinfect and isolate areas. The public can’t access this building anymore. General visitors can’t come anymore. Other businesses and locations can’t necessarily make that work. If they don’t want the public accessing their space, they can’t do business. Whereas, we can keep our staff here taking care of patients, restrict a lot of traffic, and still do what we need to do,” Calbone said.
Calbone encouraged the public to continue proper social distancing and recommended masks should be used as well in public places. He said the masks provide more protection when it’s on someone who is sick. If everyone in public spaces uses masks, it can create a more comfortable sense, similar to the atmosphere the hospital holds.
At the end of the day, Calbone said personal health comes first. While practicing social distancing, proper hand washing, and self-isolating all contribute toward limiting the spread of COVID-19, people still need to pay attention to their health.
“If people need healthcare, they should not be afraid to access healthcare. The emergency room is open; we can still manage almost any case here in the organization. We would hate for people who need care to be staying away, allowing their conditions to worsen because they somehow think they shouldn’t or can’t access the hospital. We know that perception probably exists, but that really isn’t the case,” Calbone said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Online classes for anyone willing to learn more about mindset and coping with COVID-19 will be offered starting next week by ECS Psychological Services.
Erin Christopher-Sisk, founder of ECS Psychological Services, and her team will offer multiple online videos and Q&A sessions to provide the opportunity to ask direct questions to clinicians.
“You’re going to have a live interactive opportunity to ask a trained mental health professional some questions,” Dana Jacobs, clinical supervisor and director of military programs, said. “We’re really excited to have the opportunity to offer some of these classes.”
Jacobs has worked as a clinical supervisor for the past few years and will conduct a psychological education online class that focuses on the power of positive thinking during COVID-19. The class will focus on how people can shift their perspective to focus on a different mindset.
“Right now, a lot of people are focusing on ‘I’m stuck at home’ vs. ‘I have the opportunity to be safe in my home’ and ‘I have a chance to connect with people in a different way,’” Jacobs said.
She added rather than focusing on this awful thing that’s going on and how it’s not creating some positive things, focus towards creating positive things based on this situation.
Kelly Tobin, one of ECS psychologists on staff, will offer another class, which focuses primarily on how much fear is playing a role and how well people are coping with it right now.
“Essentially she’s going to be helping people to learn and discuss how they can identify when our threats are fear based vs. reality based. It could be things that are coming from our past that really might be informing how we’re viewing current situation and not necessarily the reality of the current situation,” Jacobs said.
She added that Tobin also will teach guided imagery, some deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation to prevent panic in fear based anxiety.
In addition to these interactive classes, Jacobs said a Facebook Live Q&A would be hosted as well. The classes will be offered at no cost as Jacobs said ECS didn’t want the cost to be a barrier to helping out the community in any way they could.
“Right now when we’re struggling in lots of different ways, not least of which is financial. Just being able to offer these classes for free is exciting. That way if you have insurance, great, and if you don’t that’s okay too,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs added that more pop-up classes could be offered in the future based on interest.
“Quite honestly we’re just hearing from the population that we already work with and the population that’s reaching out to us. Our philosophy at our practice has always been to meet the needs of the community, so were more than happy to open up other classes based upon interest,” Jacobs said. “What are people needing right now, what do they want to know and we’re willing to come up with some materials to help them through that.”
Specific dates and times have not been selected for the classes yet, but Jacobs said more information can be found online on ECS website as well as their social media sites.
The online platform ECS will use is still being discussed, but ECS does have HIPPA compliant video platforms visits for adults and children they may use.
ECS operates out of multiple locations. Their Church Street location is easy to reach from Ballston Spa, Greenfield, Wilton, Corinth, Amsterdam, Clifton Park and other areas south and west of Saratoga Springs. Their Lake Avenue office is the home of our Therapeutic Farm and offers, group counseling, therapy cats and dogs along with access to our beautiful gardens and walking trails. It is at this location that they partner with Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga, Inc. to offer Equine Assisted Learning.
FREE LIVE Q&A WITH LICENSED THERAPIST
Wednesday, April 22 | 1-1:30 p.m.
Live Q&A session to address coping tips, concerns surrounding COVID-19, protecting our mental health and more. Please join from your computer, tablet or smartphone:
You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (646) 749-3122
Access Code: 948-417-461
FREE INFORMATION GROUP SESSION
Thursday, April 23 | 1 - 2 p.m.
Free online session to learn and discuss how to identify when our threats are fear- or reality-based. Participants will also learn how to use guided imagery, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation to prevent panic. Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (646) 749-3122
Access Code: 771-013-013
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Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
SARATOGA SPRINGS — One 4-H family in Saratoga County is doing their part to support the frontline workers battling to help fight Covid 19.
The Russells from Ballston Spa started out using skills and values learned through 4-H to make protective face shields for family and friends. Little did they know at the time, that it would grow to be so much more. To date the Russells have made over 180 masks and have donated them 60 going to St. Peter’s hospital, 40 going to Eddy Visiting nurses, 50 going to SUNY POLY and 36 have been delivered to individuals.
“I couldn’t help but to share this with the community,” said Greg Stevens, Saratoga County 4-H Issue Leader. “These are the values that 4-H teaches today’s youth. To be selfless, creative, and always help others when you can. I couldn’t be prouder to be involved with folks like this on a daily basis.”
The family was not looking for recognition for what they are doing. Lisa Russell (pictured) said, “We feel like we’re helping our medical people just a little bit.”
And the group continues to grow. According to Tyler, other kids and families in the community are starting their own “posse” of families who want to help the cause. The family and friends will be printing more in the upcoming days and weeks.
The Russells along with mother/grandmother Carol Bertone are a three-generation family that has been involved with the 4-H program in Saratoga County for 44+ years. Through the years the Russells have always been active and are currently the Resource Leaders for one of the biggest 4-H Robotics Programs in New York State. It was a simple transition to utilize their 3-D Printer often utilized for 4-H Projects to be used for this greater cause.
4-H connects youth to hands-on learning opportunities that help them grow into competent, caring, contributing members of society. Youth participate in 4-H by joining community clubs, or participating in in-school and after school programs.
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.
Starting this week, Dollar General is encouraging the first hour of operation each day to be dedicated for the shopping needs of senior customers. Market 32 starting March 19 will pre-open exclusively to seniors from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Dollar General wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods, according to their release. Market 32 President Scott Grimmett reflected similar ideas and announced the stores will close at 10 p.m. and re-open at 7 a.m. to help restock products and preventative sanitation. Dollar General will also close an hour earlier to allow employees to clean and restock shelves.
“In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO.
“Despite the fact that some high in demand products are more difficult to keep in stock than others, I assure you that the food supply is not in jeopardy and that we are committed to providing the highest possible level of service,” Grimmett said.