A mutated strain of the coronavirus, Covid-19 has been identified in Saratoga Springs. Governor Cuomo confirmed it at his Monday press conference. Governor Cuomo said, “Wadsworth lab confirmed a case of the U.K. strain in Saratoga County. He’s a man in his 60s who had some symptoms. He did not travel recently, so the evidence suggests it’s in the community.”

So what's the deal with the new strain? Is it more deadly? Is it more contagious? Should we be doing anything different to prevent it from spreading?

Here's what we know about the new strain of Covid-19 otherwise known as the B.1.1.7 strain. The variant was originally discovered in the United States, in Colorado on December 28th. This case in Saratoga Springs is the first known case in New York. The good news is that it doesn't appear to be more deadly or cause more severe symptoms than the more common Covid-19. The bad news is that it's more contagious and it spreads more quickly. As far as what we should do now, it's more of what we've been doing for the last 300+ days. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and get tested if you have symptoms.

The man who has been identified as the first case in New York worked at N. Fox Jewelers, located on Broadway in Saratoga. County Health officials are now doing contact tracing to determine if the virus has spread. So, if you shopped at N. Fox Jewelers between December 18-24 you should probably get tested. The Saratoga County Health Department is giving free tests to customers who were at the shop from December 18 to 24.

According to News 10, if you were at the store between those dates you can get free testing at Saratoga State Park, 99 E. West Road, Saratoga Springs, at the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, January 5, from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 6, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 7, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 8, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
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