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Let’s save lives

(Graphic by Rich Shapiro)

To date, we have had zero fatalities in Saranac Lake due to COVID-19, but that can change very quickly.

“Nine Saranac Lake residents dead from COVID-19.” That is what the headline would be if we had the same fatality rate as the rest of New York state. The number would ONLY be six if we were at the U.S. fatality rate. 

We have had 103 deaths in the North Country from COVID-19, up 17 in the past week. In the last week, our North Country region has gone from 6.9% positive to 9% positive for a seven-day average. This is much higher than New York City, which is 6.2% positive.

Most of the spread is coming from small group gatherings. Contact tracing shows this is not tourists bringing the virus to us, but ourselves going out of our region and then infecting family and friends, during the Thanksgiving holiday, and through family spread, party spread, sports league spread, workplace spread.

People can be spreading the virus for four to six days without being aware of their own infection — or longer if they only manifest mild symptoms. 

(Graphic by Rich Shapiro)

Wear your masks. Socially distance from others. Wash your hands frequently. 

Get tested. Call Adirondack Health at 518-897-2462 to make an appointment.

Community spread is the main reason. Each of us can help keep ourselves and others safe: Diligently wear masks, and always practice proper social distancing. The region has the lowest number of ICU beds available since this pandemic started. The North Country region has 82 people hospitalized and 16 in ICU due to COVID-19 as of Tuesday. We only have 36% of our ICU beds available, down from 50% just a week ago. Overall hospital bed availability is at 35%, down from 50% two weeks ago.

One of every 16 people tested this past week in Franklin and Essex counties was positive. One out of every 11 people tested in the region was positive. As you go about your everyday activities, you will likely encounter someone who is positive but does not yet know it. Assume that anyone you interact with is potentially contagious, and always wear your mask when outside your home. Distance yourself from others even when outside and wearing a mask. Avoid gatherings of people, even small social get-togethers. 

Stay healthy.

(Table by Rich Shapiro)

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