SARATOGA COUNTY — Three communities are holding their second distributions of COVID-19 rapid tests on Saturday for residents of their respective communities.
Saratoga Springs will distribute about 1,000 kits starting at 1 p.m. until supplies last in the City Center Parking Garage, allowing for both drive-through service and walkers.
Clifton Park and Halfmoon said in a joint statement they are distributing “a very limited number” of kits later in the day from 3 to 5 p.m.
Clifton Park’s distribution is inside the Clifton Park Center Mall, in front of Regal Cinemas.
Halfmoon’s distribution will be a drive-through operation at 2 Halfmoon Town Hall Plaza.
In Saratoga Springs, motorists are to enter on the High Rock Avenue side of the City Center garage, while walkers should come to the Maple Avenue side of the garage.
The city is asking that people not come early, to allow for staging, according to Dillon Moran, Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Accounts.
Proof of city residency is required. Each adult present with verification of city residency will receive one test kit. Each kit contains two tests.
Saratoga County has distributed 10,000 test kits to its cities and towns.
“We’re surrounded by six towns,” Moran said. “I want to make sure that the allocations that are coming to Saratoga Springs, get to the folks who live in Saratoga Springs.”
Moran said he would have liked to have provided residents more notice, but the city found out that it was receiving its latest allocation on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Moran announced that city workers will be required to wear KN95 masks — the kind that can filter 95% of particles in the air – while in city buildings.
Moran said he would like the city to lead by example in its attempt at preventing the spread of the coronavirus and omicron variant.
“Pretty much everybody on city council now has personal stories where they can talk about the use and effectiveness of KN95 masks in preventing the spread in direct personal situations or using testing as a means to ensure that gatherings are safe,” he said.
“And so I really want to make sure that we normalize the existence and the use of tests in our everyday lives, and that we start to realize that the best things that we can do are sometimes the simplest: and that is wear a mask, ensure that you yourself are tested before going to gatherings, and you’re making sure you’re not coming into a situation where you might have the opportunity for spread.”
Moran indicated he was attuned to the divisiveness of the topic.
“We’ve got to stop arguing about vaccines,” he said. “We’ve got to stop arguing about masks. We’ve got to start doing things together so that we can get past this because we are doing ourselves an injustice to continue to divide us about things with which we should not be divided on.”
Moran said he hopes the city receives more kits from the county, enabling city officials to plan another distribution in the eastern part of the city.
The first distribution, on Jan. 8, was in Geyser Crest, an underserved neighborhood in the western part of the city.
Moran said about 500 test kits were distributed to residents there, while the other 500 were given to Shelters of Saratoga, Code Blue, the Salvation Army, the Housing Authority, Rise Healthy Housing and Support Services, and other organizations that work with underserved communities.
Test kits were also given to city police, fire and public works departments, because of their daily interface with the public, Moran said.
Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.