BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – Saratoga County Public Health Services issued a Public Health Advisory regarding the county’s COVID community level as the Centers for Disease Control updated the county’s transmission level from medium to high.
The advisory provides a “COVID-19 Community Mitigation Toolkit,” which provides information and resources for residents to make informed health decisions, and recommends individuals follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for COVID-19 mitigation.
Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr., Town of Moreau Supervisor and Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors said,
“We’ve been closely monitoring other counties around the state during this latest COVID wave,” Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr., Town of Moreau Supervisor and Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors said in a press release. “As a result, understanding there would be a high probability that Saratoga County could follow the same path, our Public Health team has continued to offer vaccination clinics and testing for the community and has created a COVID-19 Community Mitigation Toolkit so our residents can make informed decisions for their personal health.”
“In the two years of navigating this pandemic we’ve made it a priority and continue to provide the tools and resources for individuals to make informed personal health decisions, including providing weekly vaccine clinics, testing services, distribution of masks, and test kits throughout the county,” Phil Barrett, Town of Clifton Park Supervisor and Chair of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Health and Human Services Committee noted. “The COVID-19 Community Mitigation Toolkit provides an additional resource for community members to take personal precautions to remain healthy.”
“At any COVID-19 community level, people are best protected against severe illness, hospitalization and death when they stay up to date with vaccination,” Saratoga County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Daniel Kuhles added. “Individuals should test following exposure, symptoms, or travel. Treatments for COVID-19 are now widely available.
“Since several treatments must be started within 5 days of symptoms, those who test positive should talk to their healthcare provider as soon as possible.”
COVID-19 COMMUNITY MITIGATION TOOLKIT
1 — Vaccination
COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. are effective at protecting people from serious illness, hospitalization, and death, especially for those who are boosted. As with vaccines for other diseases, individuals are protected best when they are up to date. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 12 years and older also receive a booster.
Individuals can find a COVID-19 vaccination provider near them by visiting www.vaccines.gov or by calling 800-232-0233. Saratoga County Public Health Services routinely holds vaccination clinics. The dates, times, and locations of which are available at www.saratogacountyny.gov/covid/ or by calling 518-584-7460 during business hours.
2 — Masking
Wearing a mask can help to protect both the wearer and those around them from COVID-19. Individuals who choose to wear a mask should wear the most protective mask that fits well and that they will wear consistently. Many pharmacies have partnered with the federal government to distribute a specific type of mask, called a N95, at no-cost. Individuals can locate a participating pharmacy by visiting the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/free-masks.html or by calling 800-232-0233.
It is important to note that before going to a participating pharmacy, individuals should check directly with them for current inventory and availability.
3 — Testing
Testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 disease can help prevent spread to others and can help link an infected individual to treatment. Individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms, who have had known or suspected close contact to COVID-19, or who are planning to or returning from travel should be tested. Individuals can locate a COVID-19 testing provider near them by visiting coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you or by calling 888-364-3065.
Additionally, every home in the U.S. is eligible to order two sets of four free at-home tests. Individuals can obtain these free at-home tests at www.covid.gov/tests or by calling 800-232-0233.
4 — Treatment
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows healthcare providers to use products to treat patients with COVID-19, including those who are not hospitalized, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides recommendations about these treatments and describes what is known about their effectiveness.
Treatments work best when they are started as soon as possible after the onset of illness, so it is important for individuals to get tested and talk to their doctor right away.
Oral antiviral medications that target specific parts of the virus can help reduce its multiplication and spread through the patient’s body. People 12 years or older who test positive and are symptomatic can receive oral antiviral medicine within 5 days of having symptoms.
Monoclonal antibody treatments, given intravenously (IV), can help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. People 12 years or older who test positive and are symptomatic can receive monoclonal antibody treatment within 7 days of having symptoms.
There are several pharmacies within Saratoga County that can dispense oral antiviral medications with a prescription from a healthcare provider. Individuals can locate a participating pharmacy by visiting covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com. Similarly, individuals can find a Saratoga County health care facility that administers monoclonal antibody treatment by visiting covid-19-therapeutics-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com.
Other COVID-19 Preventive Measures
In addition to staying up to date with vaccination, masking, testing and treatment, individuals can take other measures to help protect themselves from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, including:
• Avoiding poorly ventilated spaces and crowds
• Washing hands often
• Covering coughs and sneezes
• Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces
• Monitoring their health daily and staying home when sick
The full Public Health Advisory is posted at www.saratogacountyny.gov/COVID, click on “COVID Response Information.”