Schaffer Heights,107 Nott Terrace, Schenectady, NY 12308 ♦ (518) 386-2810
Schenectady County Public Health supports, protects and improves the health of our community.
Schenectady County Public Health Services (SCPHS) has been working diligently on keeping up-to-date on all Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and guidance from the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and from the New York State Department of Health. SCPHS has instituted daily internal COVID-19 briefings with key staff and partner organizations to keep all necessary groups informed on the latest information available. We want the community to understand that while most cases of the virus will be mild, for older people and those with chronic diseases, they are at real risk of serious complications from COVID-19. We have a duty as a community to protect ourselves and above all to protect others - our parents and grandparents, our family and friends, co-workers and neighbors. SCPHS wants the community to know that while the virus will spread, it can be slowed and we can reduce the impact it has by doing the following:
Schenectady County is offering no-cost community testing on Mondays and Thursdays.*
Call (518) 419-0370 to register.
Mondays 10am to 2pm at Summit Towers, 720 Albany St., Schenectady
Thursdays 9am to 1pm at SUNY Schenectady (West Parking Lot), 78 Washington Ave., Schenectady
NYS Department of Health Find a Test Site Near You: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you
*Weather-permitting. Check back here for cancellation information.
Many of the recent new positive cases within the County have been linked through family and social connections. This shows just how important it is to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoid gathering in group settings. Schenectady County Public Health Services is also seeing a recent trend of younger people, who are frequently symptom-free, spreading the virus to their family members, who may become severely ill as a result.
New York State has issued updated guidance regarding schools with a specific focus on when students and staff need to be excluded from school for possible COVID symptoms and what steps they need to take to return. Schenectady County Public Health Services continues to work closely with the schools via weekly calls with local districts and will be assisting in understanding and navigating new guidelines as they are released. If you have questions about a specific situation, please contact your school district or call 518-386-2824 option 4 to speak to a member of the SCPHS contact tracing staff. The updated guidance can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/10/prek-gr12_toolkit.pdf
Essential Employees and COVID-19
Are you an employer of essential employees and/or healthcare workers and want to learn more about how quarantine effects your staff? Are you an essential employee and/or a healthcare worker and want to learn more about when and how you can return to work? Click here: (link to documents)
*Employers, if you have further questions, please call our communicable disease department at 518-386-2824 Option 4.
NYS Department of Health Guidance:
Call Before You Go
If you are concerned that you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or feel that you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your primary care provider before arriving there. For anyone feeling more severely ill, particularly, with trouble breathing, seek medical care without delay, but always with a call before you go.
For general questions about coronavirus, call the NYS Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
SCPHS COVID-19 Hotline: (518) 386-2824, Option 4
For urgent matters after-hours that can't wait until the next business day, call (518) 437-7878.
To request a mask, call (518) 386-2824, 9am - 3pm, Monday - Friday
It is critical that all residents be conscientious about normal, standard precautions, relevant for any communicable disease.
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers;
- Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands;
- Do not share personal items, such as water bottles;
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick;
- If you're sick, stay home. Remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (without taking fever-reducing medication) or signs of a fever (ie. chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance);
- Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash; and
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
These guidelines, followed carefully, will make a difference in community spread of the disease.
Cloth Face Coverings
NYS guidance for businesses/employers is available here.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
Click here for CDC guidance and instructions on how to make you own.
Public health recommendations have been updated to accommodate new scientific evidence, evolving epidemiology and the need to simplify risk stratification. New recommendations are based on:
- Growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons without symptoms or before the onset of recognized symptoms;
- Increased community transmission in many parts of the country;
- Limitations in access to COVID-19 testing and increasing number of cases diagnosed clinically; and
- Continued focus on reducing transmission through social distancing.
Additional CDC information on cloth face coverings:
- CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know if from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
COVID-19: Protect Yourself and Others
COVID-19: Coping with Stress
COVID-19: Talking with your Children about COVID-19
COVID-19: Resources for Healthcare Facilities
Mental Health Resources
NYS Office of Mental Health Resources:
- Mental Health Resources During an Emergency
- COVID-19 Resources Website
- Emotional Support Line: 1-844-863-9314
- Feeling Stressed About Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Ellis Hsopital “Living Room”: offers telephone support to individuals in the community who are in need of mental health/emotional support at (518) 243-1523 between 12pm-8pm;
- Mental Health Empowerment Project
- (518) 235-2173
- Peer mentors available M-F, 9am to 9pm
- Phone support for anyone seeking resources or a supportive ear during this difficult time
- All calls are confidential and dree to the public
- Also operate a 24/7 confidential “warm” line where trained mentors are available at 1-800-643-7462
- You can call United Way’s free 2-1-1 helpline 24/7 with questions or concerns about COVID-19. This service is available in over 200 languages.
- Connects callers with resources providing food, shelter, rent assistance, clothing, child care options and other types of community assistance. Trained referral specialists are multi-lingual and available to help find individuals the help they need.
Body Art Permits: Current Guidelines and Application
Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and Community Health Needs Assessment
Every 3 years, Ellis Hospital, Sunnyview Rehab Hospital and Schenectady County Public Health Services go through a process to write a Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan. This is done by reviewing community level health data with our stakeholders, discussing the data at our Schenectady Coalition for a Healthy Community, and by posting a survey to request input from the broader community. As a result of all of this information combined, we determine priority areas that the Schenectady County Community would like to work on for the Community Health Improvement Plan cycle.
Free Overdose Prevention & Narcan Training 2020
Schenectady County Public Health Services was granted a Certificate of Approval to operate an Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. The program attendees learn how to recognize an overdose, how to respond to a suspected overdose, how to administer Narcan, to provide a Narcan kit and/or N-CAP information, and related resources.
This program is offered for free to all Schenectady County employees, Ellis Hospital employees, Schenectady County CBO employees, and Schenectady County residents.
**This program does NOT constitute medical education for providers in terms of clinical certification.**
Location: Ellis McClellan Conference Center, 600 McClellan St., Schenectady NY 12304
Program Dates/Time: Held the second Wednesday of each month from 9-10am
January 8; February 12; March 11
April 8; May 13; June 10
July 8; August 12; September 9
October 14; December 9
RSVP: Space is limited. Please RSVP to Lauren Stairs, either by phone (518) 386-2824 ext. 256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by the 5th of the month in which you plan to attend.
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