Saratoga County Residents,
As you surely know, we are living in a challenging time with an uncertain end to this public health crisis caused by the once-in-a-lifetime COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring the safety of the public and our workforce are key elements of our support and response efforts.
Saratoga County has more than 230,000 residents, and we were the first county in the Capital Region to confirm a case of COVID-19. I can say without hesitation that I’m proud of our workforce in the Department of Public Health and Emergency Services who reacted expeditiously and diligently to implement our emergency response plan and continue to update our Incident Action Plan daily. Since my State of Emergency Declaration, county employees from various departments have been working around the clock – beyond their normal work requirements and schedules – to protect you and your families to the best of our abilities as we work to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Saratoga County.
As part of that emergency response plan, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized a $1 million budget amendment to provide additional support to the Department of Public Health, our first responders, the Sheriff’s Office, the Office of Emergency Services, the 911 Communications Center and other county departments.
More than $750,000 of that funding was budgeted to purchase equipment, tools, and supplies needed by these departments, such as gloves, N95 masks, medical gowns, and face shields. The remaining $250,000 of that allocation was set aside to support staffing needs during this extraordinary time.
While handling this unprecedented public health crisis, our county leadership quickly recognized the need to hire more medical staff in the Public Health Department and this funding enabled us to assure we had the necessary resources to keep you, your family and your neighbors safe. These essential employees are working hard in the emergency operations center and in the community in response to this pandemic, often under stressful and ever-changing conditions to protect you as best as we can.
We have 33 separate departments and employees are working both onsite and remotely to assure that the other county operations such as Social Services, Office for the Aging, the Sewer District, and Department of Public Works, are continuing to provide service to county residents with minimal interruption.
Since declaring a State of Emergency we’ve reduced the county workforce by more than 72% even though the Governor’s executive order only requires a 50% reduction. Our staffing numbers fluctuate daily based on operational needs and currently we have several employees who have tested positive and others who have been quarantined.
In accordance with the resolution adopted by our Board of Supervisors, I hold a weekly meeting of the Chairs of our Law and Finance and Human Resource Committees and County Administration to determine the effectiveness of the current employee matrix, and it is adjusted accordingly to maximize the work we do for you while protecting taxpayer money.
Contrary to what you might read in the news, I want to assure you that the county’s elected officials, County Administrator, Deputy County Administrator, Director of Human Resources, and the Commissioner of Emergency Services have been compensated at their regular salary. The only employees getting time and a half are those who are working in our COVID-19 command center. This group varies day to day but is on average staffed with 40 employees.
As we face daily increases in cases of COVID-19 in the community, our response to the crisis will change to meet the magnitude of the challenges we face. We expect the need to modify our response frequently to address all immediate issues and our workforce needs as well. What I’m committing to you through this letter, is that the Board of Supervisors, under my leadership, will always act in the best interests of the county residents and taxpayers, and with utmost transparency, in order to do what we can to protect you from the spread of COVID-19.
Your Supervisors are here to serve you and will continue to act in your best interest. We are honored and humbled to be elected as your voice and are proud to call Saratoga County home.
Sincerely, Preston Allen Chairman
Saratoga County Board of Supervisors
In an effort to achieve public safety and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we have reduced our staff to essential personnel. During this time, we shall continue to provide the essential services to the residents of Saratoga County. We appreciate your patience and the opportunity to serve you.
PLEASE SIGN UP FOR SARATOGA COUNTY’S MASS NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
Residents can enroll in the County’s CodeRED emergency notification system to receive updates from the county’s Emergency Management Team. To enroll, follow this link: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF26DE55718D
SARATOGA COUNTY – CALL FIRST!
If you believe you have been exposed or that you have symptoms of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Please do not walk in to your doctor’s office or to the Emergency Room and risk exposing the staff and other patients. If you arrive to Saratoga Hospital, you will be directed to a safe entry at a nearby testing location.
For all other questions, call:
NYS Novel Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
Saratoga County Public Health Services: 518-885-2276
The Census is coming! We’re just a few weeks away from the 2020 U.S. Census survey hitting mailboxes across Saratoga County. Be ready to be counted! The Census is not only required by our Constitution, but it also helps us accurately reflect the amount of federal aid we’re entitled to that supports our seniors, students, and others throughout our community. Learn more about the upcoming survey on the U.S. Census website here: https://www.census.gov/
The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership and the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation are part of the Saratoga County Economic Development Alliance, a collaboration designed to provide enhanced and seamless economic development services to investors and businesses interested in locating or growing in the Saratoga region of New York. Click here for more information. https://saratogaeconomicalliance.com/
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