The Latest Updates from Saratoga Hospital
Visitation & Hospital Access PoliciesTo reduce the number of people in the hospital and the possibility of spreading coronavirus to our patients and staff, no visitors are allowed in the building.
This “no visitors” policy applies to Saratoga Hospital and our urgent and emergent care facilities.
For those accompanying a patient to the hospital for a diagnostic test, imaging or a procedure, please return to your car until notified. If a patient requires assistance in or out the building, our staff will help as needed.
All persons entering the facility will be screened for:
- Travel to a foreign country in last 30 days
- Shortness of breath
- Possible exposure to COVID-19
*A limited number of exceptions, with appropriate screening, include:
- Radiation Oncology Center (ROC) and our Mental Health Unit patients will be limited to one support person, managed at each of the units’ entrances by staff.
- Mother/Baby unit is limited to father of the baby (FOB), partner, or designated support person.
- Compassionate considerations for end-of-life or other special situations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Main entrance hours:
- Monday - Friday: 6 AM - 8 PM
- Saturday: 7 AM - 3 PM
- Sunday: 10 AM - 4 PM
- Emergency Center entrance is open 24/7
- Mollie Wilmot Radiation Oncology entrance: for cancer patients only
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.
The coronavirus (COVID 19) landscape is changing every day. At Saratoga Hospital, we are vigilant and cautious, sensitive to patient and staff safety, and community concerns. Our medical staff is fully informed and engaged on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) clinical criteria for COVID-19. These criteria are incorporated into all patient evaluations, when indicated.
COVID-19 Response Team
We have established a COVID-19 Response Team that includes representatives of all disciplines of the hospital, from the main campus and all outpatient offices and facilities. Team members are in constant communication with each other, hospital leadership, other area hospitals, and state and county health officials.
We are actively engaged at the state and county and city level, and monitor all of the reporting at the federal and international level as well (please see Additional Resources below). This allows for a constant assessment of our internal protocols, informed by the latest real-time information available.
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
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility)
*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.
- NYSDOH Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
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.
Looking to donate items to Saratoga Hospital?
First step: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.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.
- 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
- We can only accept full, unopened boxes of any donation
- Must be within the expiration date
- Reminder: non-latex gloves ONLY
Perhaps the biggest outpouring is an effort from individuals and community groups to make cloth face masks. These masks will not meet clinical-use standards primarily because of the specific design and material mandated to provide appropriate protection. However, these face masks have value.
Before making any masks, please ask yourself these questions:
- Have you been in contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Do you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath?
If you answer "yes" to either questions, we ask that you do not make any masks. 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.
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.
Donations are being accepted Monday - Friday, 10AM - 4PM
at FastSigns (30 Gick Road, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866).
Please email us at email@example.com for futher guidance.
This is the only location that we will be accepting donations.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
- One Roof Saratoga
- A weekly meditation will be available every Saturday
- Beyond My Battle
- Insight Timer
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:
- New York State Office of Mental Health
- New York State Mental Health Hotline: 1-844-863-9314
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- 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.
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.