COVID-19

The Latest Updates from Saratoga Hospital

Saratoga Hospital is not a community vaccination site, and neither are any of our facilities. We are providing COVID-19 vaccine information because we are already seeing the positive impact of vaccination in our community. We encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.

You can find the latest informationand schedule an appointmentonline at the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine website, or by calling the New York State Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). Vaccine eligibility is constantly changing, so check back often. 
 

Vaccine Eligibility

  • Vaccination is currently open to everyone in the United States age 5 and over. (Pfizer only for ages 5-17)
  • Vaccination for 5-11-year-olds should be available at pediatrician’s offices, children’s hospitals and some pharmacies. Scheduling websites like vaccines.gov, CVS, Walgreens and Hannaford are increasingly being updated. More capacity will be opening as the pediatric vaccine rolls out more widely to pediatrician’s offices.
  • The Vaccine Finder site is a helpful tool to find vaccine near you.

Booster Eligibility

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults age 18 and older who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine get a booster shot six months after their second dose. It is also recommended that teenagers 16 and 17 receive a Pfizer booster six months after the second dose. 

People 18+ who go the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster shot after 2 months or more.

The CDC also endorsed a “mix and match’ approach: If you are interested in a booster, you do not need to choose the same brand as your initial vaccine. There is no advisement for or against Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson for the booster dose.

Second Booster Doses: The CDC says certain immunocompromised individuals and people over 50 who received an initial booster dose at least four months ago are eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.

All major pharmacies in the area—CVS, Hannaford, Rite Aid, Walgreens—offer the COVID-19 vaccines free of charge. Most have multiple vaccines to choose from, and you can schedule an appointment through their online apps or on their websites.
 


Volunteers Needed

Medical professionals are needed to help at vaccination sites across the state. Albany Med's Capital Region Vaccine Network provides criteria for volunteering and contact information for each county.

Please share this information with anyone who qualifies and may be interested in assisting.

Questions on volunteering? Email CapitalRegionVax@amc.edu


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many doses of the vaccine do I need?
A: It depends on which vaccine you receive:

  • Pfizer: Two doses, 19 - 23 days apart
  • Moderna: Two doses, 26 - 30 days apart
  • Johnson & Johnson: One dose
Q: Which vaccine should I get?

A: The goal is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible to contain the disease, protect our community, and stop the development of variants. All three available vaccines are safe and effective. Pfizer is the only vaccine so far authorized for children ages 12-17.

Q: Do I have to pay for the vaccine?
A: No. Vaccine doses were purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars and are being distributed to the American people at no cost.

Q: How long will the effects of vaccination last?
A:
 This is not known at this time. It is possible the initial doses of the vaccine will provide long-term or even lifelong immunity from COVID-19 or it may be that you will need to be vaccinated every year, similar to the flu vaccine.

Q: Do I need a vaccine if I already had COVID-19?
A:
 Yes. There is not enough information available to say if or for how long natural immunity lasts. There are no risks to receiving the vaccine based on whether you have already had the disease. 

Q: Do I need to wear a mask when I am being vaccinated?
A: Yes. The CDC recommends that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside your household, including when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: Do I have to continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing once I'm fully vaccinated?
A:
 The CDC has the latest guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. 

Q: How long will it take before we get back to normal?
A:
 Experts estimate it will take six to nine months before we reach herd immunitya 75% - 90% vaccination rateand life can return to normal. The good news is we are on our way!

Resources

John Hopkins University of Medicine
Vaccine Insights

New York State Department of Health
New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program: Ensuring a Safe and Effective COVID-19 Vaccine

FDA
COVID-19 Vaccines: FDA has rigorous scientific and regulatory processes in place to
facilitate development and ensure the safety, effectiveness and quality of COVID-19 vaccines

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Stay Up to Date with your COVID-19 Vaccines
Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 Vaccines are Effective

WebMD
As the new coronavirus continues to spread, the vaccine is seen as the best way to stop it.

Visitation & Hospital Access Policies

Our priority at Saratoga Hospital is to keep all of our patients, our staff, and our community safe. Our visitation policy reflects this ongoing effort, and also respects the most current public health guidelines: to safely manage the number of people in the hospital to reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. We recognize this effort must also be in balance with patient care needs. 

Visitors will not be allowed if they are ill, have COVID-19 symptoms, or are on mandatory isolation or quarantine.

We offer and encourage technology-based options to connect with patients in the hospital as an option. Please inquire about options by contacting the patient’s care unit at 518-587-3222 and request to speak with the charge nurse.

Visitation Guidelines

  • Each patient may have 1 visitor per day in addition to the designated support person(s).
    • Per New York State Department of Health, all pediatric patients up to the age of 18 may have 2 designated support persons with them at all times. Patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments (including dementia) may designate 1 support person to remain with them throughout their hospitalization.
    • Visitation for COVID positive patients remain restricted, although compassionate exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Saratoga Hospital will provide visitors with proper PPE. Anyone interested in visiting a COVID positive patient should contact the patient's care team.
  • Visiting hours are between 4 PM - 8 PM. 
  • All visitors must be age 18 or older.
  • Visitors entrances:
    • Main Lobby
      Monday - Friday, 4 PM - 8 PM
    • Emergency Department Triage Entrance
      Saturday & Sunday, 4 PM - 8 PM
  • Per New York State guidelines, masks must be worn by visitors at all times while on hospital property—including in patient rooms.Masks must be worn appropriately, covering the nose and mouth. Depending on a patient’s condition, additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required. 
  • Visitors will be screened upon entering the building. This will include questions about symptoms, COVID-19 exposures, and quarantine.
  • Visitors will receive a badge identifying their approved destination. This badge must be worn above the waist for the duration of the visit. Visitors may be requested to show a photo ID.
  • Visitors may not eat or drink in the patient’s room. They may visit the cafeteria but must finish their meal before returning upstairs.
  • Visitors must perform hand hygiene before entering and when exiting the patient’s room.

Separate visitation guidelines are established for the following:

  • Behavioral Health Unit
    • Limited to one unique visitor per hospital stay.
    • Visiting hours: 4 PM – 6 PM
  • Emergency Department
    • Limited to one unique visitor per day in addition to the designated support person(s).
    • Staff will exercise their best clinical judgment in determining when visitation may be temporarily limited based on departmental needs. Compassionate exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.  
  • Mother/Baby Unit
    • Limited to labor support (partner or other designated support person) and a doula.
    • 2 additional unique visitors will be allowed during the following times:
      • Monday - Friday: 5 PM - 7 PM
      • Saturday - Sunday: 2 PM - 4 PM
    • Support person will be allowed to accompany patient to anesthesia consults, neonatal consults, and lactation consults. 
  • Radiation Oncology Center (ROC)
    • Limited to one support person at the time of initial consultation.
  • Surgical Services
    • One support person may accompany the patient into the hospital and remain in the Same-Day Surgery waiting area until contacted by the patient's care team.
  • Imaging and Lab services
  • Urgent Care - Adirondack
  • Urgent Care - Wilton
  • Malta Med Emergent Care
  • All Saratoga Hospital Medical Group primary care and specialty offices

​​​​For more details on these separate guidelines, please call 518-587-3222. 

Patient visitation will be determined by each patient or their designee or the patients care team based on patient care needs:

  • Respect patient wishes
  • Respect each patient’s medical condition
  • Respect each patient’s care plan where these visits will provide therapeutic benefit to the patient

This policy supports our continuing process of allowing compassionate exceptions on a case-by-case basis. 

We will continue to provide compassionate exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Saratoga Hospital reserves the right to modify this policy. Visitation rights can be rescinded at any time.
 

COVID-19 Vaccination
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. Vaccination is open to everyone in the United States age 5 and over (Pfizer only for ages 5-17). 

To learn more, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 Vaccination page or visit any of these resources below: 


Saratoga Hospital and Saratoga Hospital outpatient facilities shall respect the rights of patients to choose who may visit/accompany them when they are hospitalized or seen in an outpatient setting.

Visitors will not be restricted, limited, or otherwise denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or disability. The patient has the right to withdraw or deny his/her consent to receive specific visitors.

It is not possible to anticipate every instance that may give rise to a clinically appropriate rationale for a restriction or limitation. Our staff will exercise their best clinical judgment when determining when visitation is, or is not, appropriate. Clinical judgment will take into account all aspects of the patient's health.

Updated May 3, 2022

COVID-19 Testing locations 

 

Saratoga Hospital offers COVID-19 PCR (non-rapid) testing at four locations: Saratoga Springs, Malta, Wilton, and Queensbury. Tests are reserved for people who: 

  • Have COVID-19 symptoms OR
  • Have recently been exposed to COVID-19 OR
  • Need proof of a negative test result to return to work or school.

Tests also are available at area pharmacies and New York State locations. You can find a testing site near you on the COVID-19 Test Site Finder. Note: Each site has different hours and requirements for appointments, prescriptions, etc. You can use that information to decide which location works best for you.
 


Saratoga Hospital COVID-19 Testing Locations

  1. Saratoga Springs
    Drive-Up Testing Tent, 59D Myrtle Street Park
    (Across from Saratoga Hospital)
    Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 5 PM

    Rx and appointment required: Please have your provider fax the order (Rx) to us at 518-580-2134. Our scheduling team will reach out to you to set up an appointment on a day/time that is convenient for you.
     
  2. Malta Med Emergent Care
    6 Medical Park Drive, Malta
    (Off Northway Exit 12)
    Open 24/7
    No appointment necessary
    Urgent care visit required; 2 options:
    • Come to Malta Med Emergent Care. One of our providers will see you and order the test, if appropriate. The test will be done during your visit.

    • Schedule a virtual visit. One of our providers will evaluate you and, if appropriate, will arrange for you to have a test.

      Please note: Although there is no charge for the COVID-19 test, you will have a co-pay for the in-person or virtual appointment. The cost/coverage of that will depend on your insurance provider.

  3. Urgent Care – Wilton
    3040 Route 50, Saratoga Springs
    Monday – Friday, 7 AM - 7 PM
    Saturday, 9AM - 7 PM
    Sunday, 9AM - 3PM
    No appointment necessary

    Urgent care visit required. Come to Urgent Care – Wilton. One of our providers will see you and order and conduct the test, if appropriate.

    Please note: Although there is no charge for the COVID-19 test, you will have a co-pay for the urgent care visit. The cost/coverage of that will depend on your insurance provider.

  4. Urgent Care – Adirondack
    959 Route 9 (Mount Royal Plaza), (Queensbury
    Open 7 days a week, 9AM - 7PM
    No appointment necessary
    Urgent care visit required. Come to Urgent Care – Adirondack. One of our providers will see you and order and conduct the test, if appropriate.

    Please note: Although there is no charge for the COVID-19 test, you will have a co-pay for the urgent care visit. The cost/coverage of that will depend on your insurance provider.

A reminder that masks are required at all Saratoga Hospital locations.
For COVID-19 testing, please wear your mask until we ask you to remove or lower it.

Self Care Resources

Many of us are understandably anxious with the arrival of COVID-19 in our corner of the world. We've included some community resources below to help you and your loved ones cope with this ever-changing landscape.

Taking Care of your Body
Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and manage anxiety. There are many online sources for yoga and exercise. Below are just a few, so if you have a favorite gym or yoga studio, please check their website or social channels for online classes.

Taking Care of your Mind
Our lives have radically changed in a matter of weeks. Taking the time to slow down, relax, and breathe is particularly effective in managing stress.  Taking Care of your Emotions
If you need to talk to someone individually about your stress, anxiety, or depression, and are a patient of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, please contact your primary care provider for a referral to our telephonic behavioral health services. These services include screening, assessment, and counseling for anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other mental health services. 

You can also call your health insurance company and ask for a referral to a behavioral health provider offering tele-mental health or telephonic services. 

Other available resources: Taking Care at Home
  • Take a break from the news. While it’s important to stay informed, excessive watching, reading, or  listening to the news can be upsetting—and that includes scrolling through social media. Get only what you need from reliable sources, like the CDC and NYS Department of Health.
  • Limit screen time. You can mitigate your anxiety by decreasing the amount of time you spend online. Give your eyes and mind a break by opening a window and breathing fresh air. Go for a walk if you can. Try some other activities you enjoy, like coloring or singing. Take the time to enjoy a favorite hobby, or try something new.
  • Maintain normalcy. Keep to your regular routine as much as possible. Continue getting up and showering as you always do, making changes only if needed. Work from home. Continue your weekly activities through virtual platforms like Skype or Zoom. Reach out to your friends and loved ones through FaceTime, or make an old-fashioned phone call! Structure your children’s days as much as possible, including family time together. That sense of normalcy will help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Additional Resources
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) also offers useful resources addressing coronavirus anxiety, managing isolation, how to talk to your children and teens, personal stories of triumph, and more.

If your stress or anxiety is keeping you from getting through your day for longer than a week, or you cannot shake serious feelings of sadness and depression, call your healthcare provider right away. You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

Most importantly, remind yourself that we’re all in this together, and Saratoga Hospital has resources for patients feeling anxious or depressed. We can help you get through this.

Steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses

It is important to follow basic preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick*
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask

*If someone believes they may be sick, we encourage people 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 case, a provider visit may not be necessary.
 

Additional resources

New York State County Health Offices

New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus

  • NYSDOH Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - COVID19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - COVID19 FAQs

Questions on COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donation

Saratoga County Public Health: COVID-19 Resources 

How can you help?

 

It is wonderfully gratifying to have such generous offers from members of our community, and we cannot thank you enough for this outpouring of support. 

Here are some ways you can help: 

  1. Gifts to the Saratoga Hospital COVID-19 Response Fund
  2. Send a Message to Saratoga Hospital Healthcare Workers
  3. Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Medical Supplies
  4. Handmade Masks and Scrub Hats
     

Gifts to the Saratoga Hospital COVID-19 Response Fund 
Your gift to the Saratoga Hospital COVID-19 Response Fund will provide the resources to source essential supplies and to provide emergent care for our critical patients. We are also seeing increasing urgent healthcare needs for those in our community negatively impacted by COVID-19 including loss of income and health insurance. Saratoga Hospital and Saratoga Community Health Center are committed to caring for all members of our community and your gift can assist in paying for prescriptions and stocking the Center's Teaching Food Pantry during this time of need.

Make a Gift Now


donate

Send a Message to Saratoga Hospital Healthcare Workers

We invite you to show your support and appreciation for those on the front lines with an email or mailed card. Email contactus@saratogahospital.org or send your card/note to:

Neighbor to Neighbor
c/o Saratoga Hospital Foundation
211 Church Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866



Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Medical Supplies

First step: Email us at contactus@saratogahospital.org

As a hospital we must follow strict federally mandated guidelines on what can – and cannot – be used in a hospital setting, especially personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles. Most donations may indeed qualify in one setting or another here at the hospital.

For example, N95 masks have been donated, but must meet specific fit standards for use in clinical areas of the hospital. Most may be deployed to other areas of the hospital. We still have to set restrictions. 

N95 Masks/Respirators

  • Must be certified by NIOSH as N95 
  • Masks/respirators can be either for healthcare or industrial use (CDC has approved the use of industrial N95 in healthcare settings)
  • We can only accept full, unopened boxes
  • Must be within the expiration date 
  • Must be from a certified manufacturer
  • Must be FDA approved

Other donations are being accepted as well, including:

  • Clorox/bleach wipes
  • Pump hand sanitizers
  • Non-latex gloves ONLY

Restrictions include:

  • We can only accept full, unopened boxes of any donation
  • Must be within the expiration date
  • Reminder: non-latex gloves ONLY

     

Handmade masks and cloth scrub hats
Perhaps the biggest outpouring is an effort from individuals and community groups to make handmade cloth face masks, as well as cloth scrub hats. These items will not meet clinical-use standards primarily because of the specific design and material mandated to provide appropriate protection. However, these items do have value.

Before making any either masks or hats, please ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you been in contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  2. Do you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath?
If you answer "no" to both questions, please proceed.
If you answer "yes" to either questions, we ask that you do not make any masks or hats. If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath and have a concern that you may have COVID-19, please call your primary care provider. 
 

Click here for handmade masks instructions, fabric and design guidelines

Click here for cloth scrub hat instructions

 

We will accept these donations and then evaluate best use. They may be used to supplement other protective gear, or may be offered to staff as a layer of protection in non-clinical or reduced patient-facing areas of the hospital. Most importantly, the appropriate use of these donated masks will help us reduce demands on our PPE supplies that are needed in direct patient care. 

In short, all donations are truly appreciated and most, if not all, will be accepted.

To donate items, please email us at contactus@saratogahospital.org. We will work with you to identify a convenient drop off day/time. 


Food Donations and non-essential supplies
As far as food donations or other non-essential supplies, please consider the Saratoga Community Health Center’s food pantry and other community organizations dedicated to the underserved and those who may need extra help during this crisis.

Please share the contactus@saratogahospital.org email address, or use it to ask questions or offer suggestions. We may not be able to directly respond to every message, but will do our very best to be as responsive as we can be. 

Again, thank you for thinking of us. We are so grateful for your kindness, and it truly makes a difference to our staff and those we serve.