Schenectady’s Response to COVID-19

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the coronavirus has had drastic impacts on the wellbeing of communities across the United States; as a result of this, individuals, practitioners, and health providers came together in such a time of need to provide care to their people.

While Schenectady wasn’t one of the towns most impacted by the virus, compared to Albany, or perhaps New York City, its town and health officials still understood the severity of the issue when addressing and serving the community.


Bringing a Community Together

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has torn communities apart, the individuals within those communities, by supporting one another, have brought it back together.

Throughout May, when families were starting to suffer greatly, the Schenectady Foundation increased support for its community fund that helps food access, housing, family services as well as much more during crises such as these. The foundation also committed $227,000 to various relief organizations such as the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Schenectady ARC.

Additionally, a variety of drive-thru food distribution setups have also been placed around the Schenectady region for those struggling to provide for their families during these hard times. Officials running these programs also set up accommodations for those without cars, by having a county hotline for members of the community to call. Distribution sites have been set up at the SUNY Schenectady parking lot, Schenectady Redemption Church, as well as at the various Regional Food Bank locations in the area.


Where Can I Get Tested?

Schenectady County offers no-cost community testing on Mondays and Thursdays throughout November and December. On Mondays, citizens can find the testing site at the Boys and Girls Club Adeline Wright Graham Clubhouse, and on Thursdays, the test site will be at SUNY Schenectady.

Additionally, Ellis Hospital has become a mobile testing site, with various locations throughout Schenectady in which they offer testing for local community members. The main goal of this program is to reach “symptomatic individuals who face barriers to testing, like lack of access to transportation.” These tests first started being offered in April at the Ellis McClellan campus, Mont Pleasant Middle School, and the Washington Irving Education Center for people showing symptoms, regardless of whether they have insurance, made an appointment, have a prescription, or work in a high-risk field.



Aside from Ellis Medicine, individuals are also able to get tested at various drugstores in the area, such as CVS and Walgreens, urgent care facilities, and Hometown Health Center. 

               what if I test positive?

According to the CDC, most people with the COVID-19 virus have only a mild illness, allowing them to recover at home without the need for medical assistance. Since the virus is contagious, stay home and isolate for the mandated 14-days. Most importantly, get rest, stay hydrated, and report all symptoms to local health officials, should they arise. 


Where Are We Headed?

After months of trial and error, test after test, Pfizer and BioNTech just announced a possible vaccine candidate against COVID-19! Throughout testing, their vaccine achieved success after showing to be more than 90% effective in participants with evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.

Since this vaccine has been studied for only a matter of months, there is no way to tell how it will have a prolonged effect on the virus, however now we must hold onto hope!












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