As you have heard, the delta variant of the virus has resulted in an uptick in infection rates. The CDC consequently issued guidelines this week suggesting that all persons, vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks when indoors in locations where the community transmission level is substantial or high. Yesterday, Saratoga County was placed in the “substantial” category.
Saratoga County is responding swiftly to these developments. Chairman Kusnierz announced yesterday the formation of the SHARP (Saratoga Health and Readiness Planning) task force to review the data and expert analysis and to provide recommendations to the county community. I am a member of SHARP, and the task force includes the County’s Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Dan Kuhles. Our dashboard contains data updated every weekday:
County and Municipal Case Dashboard
The dashboard keeps track of the data concerning infection rates, vaccinations, and other factors. Importantly, it also lists hospitalizations and deaths, both for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
The County noted in the announcement of SHARP that the health of our residents and employees is primary. At the same time, it acknowledged the importance of individual private judgment and the need to avoid displacing that judgment with a government mandate.
In my view, based on the low numbers of hospitalizations and deaths especially among vaccinated persons, governmental mandates are inappropriate at the present time. Of course, that view could change with the constantly updated data, and the policy question at the Town level will be made by the entire Town Board.