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Alert: Visitor Restrictions in Place

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Call 1-888-364-3065 with urgent questions or concerns.

Stay up to date on the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with information from St. Lawrence Health System. Our number one priority is to help protect the community, patients, and employees.

For urgent questions or concerns, call NYS's hotline: 1-888-364-3065.

At this time we are offering testing (by appointment) to all members of our community.

We also continue to test individuals who have been in direct contact with a person known to be COVID-19 positive, individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, unexplained severe fatigue, and/or loss of taste or smell), and individuals who have a referral from the St. Lawrence County Department of Health. 

Learn more about our Testing Centers, including how to acquire an appointment. 

For the most current Visitation Policy, Visiting Hours, and Emergency Department Support Person Guidelines, please visit our Patients and Visitors page. 

Common Questions About COVID-19

(Updated 9/14/20)

What is the COVID-19 community spread in NNY?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in a specific location, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Each health department determines community spread differently based on local conditions. For current information on community spread in our area, please visit the health department’s website.​ View the map for New York State counties.

Who is at risk of becoming infected?

All ages and demographics are at risk of becoming infected. According to the CDC, older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions seem to be at a higher risk.

Should I wear a mask?

The CDC recommends that everyone wear cloth face coverings when leaving their homes, regardless of whether they have fever or symptoms of COVID-19. This is because of evidence that people with COVID-19 can spread the disease, even when they don’t have any symptoms. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

How does the virus spread?

The virus spreads from person to person by droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread on surfaces. The CDC recognizes that since COVID-19 is a new disease, they are still learning how it spreads.

Where did COVID-19 originate?

The new coronavirus originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first case was recorded in December 2019.

Can I travel?

We strongly recommend that patients and their loved ones avoid travel to COVID hot spots. Individuals who travel to COVID hot spots determined by New York State are obligated to self-quarantine for 14 days after departing the hot spot and returning home. We stand ready to serve the medical needs of self-quarantined individuals and encourage them to let their primary care provider know of their self-quarantine status. The primary care provider in partnership with the patient will determine the safest and most appropriate way to address medical concerns.

Should I be tested for a current infection?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider or make arrangements to safely visit one of our testing centers. While most people will have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care and may not need to be tested, we are encouraging members of our community to get tested. Testing is crucial to help treat, isolate, or hospitalize people who are infected. Testing also is important in the bigger public health picture on mitigation efforts, helping investigators characterize the prevalence, spread, and contagiousness of the disease.

CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments and healthcare providers.

I’m pregnant or have a newborn. Should I be worried?

According to the CDC, a new study suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and are at increased risk for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and receipt of mechanical ventilation than non-pregnant women. Risk of death is similar for both groups.

Is there a vaccination?

There is currently no vaccination for COVID-19. However, according to the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) the first patients have been given a potential vaccine. 45 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 will be given two doses of the vaccine over a span of six weeks. Testing for an antiviral drug has also begun.

What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus not previously found in humans. There are seven types of coronavirus’ that cause upper respiratory symptoms. COVID-19 is the most recent coronavirus disease to be discovered. Other recent examples of coronavirus disease are SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, gloves, gowns, masks, or other garments or equipment that protects healthcare workers from infection.

What is an N95 mask?

An N95 respirator mask (also referred as a medical respirator) is a tight-fitting respirator mask that reduces the wearer’s exposure to particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets. N95 masks filter out at least 95% of airborne particles and are recommended only for use by healthcare personnel who need protection from both airborne and fluid hazards. These respirators are not used or needed outside of healthcare settings.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is the primary strategy in place to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. It calls for people to increase the space between one another and to avoid gatherings and crowds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people should maintain a distance of six feet from others when possible.

What’s the Difference Between Coronavirus and Flu?

The new coronavirus and influenza (flu) are both contagious viruses that cause respiratory illnesses, and both diseases are spread worldwide. Both can cause a fever, cough, body aches, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea, and both can result in pneumonia. But many differences exist, like transmission, medication, and treatment options.


COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure to the virus. The virus may cause respiratory symptoms such as:

COVID-19 Symptoms

The New York State Department of Health cautions anyone experiencing symptoms to call their healthcare provider before seeking treatment in person.

Click here to see our providers. 

Know the Facts

Separate fact from fiction and stay informed about COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of misinformation.

FACT 1: Disease doesn’t target specific races or ethnicities

COVID-19 does not target people of Asian descent more than any other race or ethnicity. Being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19. 

FACT 2: You can reduce your risk of getting COVID-19

Reduce the spread of COVID-19 by washing your hands as frequently as possible with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, the CDC says. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; stay home from work when you are sick; and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

FACT 3: COVID-19 symptoms can be flu-like?

The new coronavirus and influenza (flu) are both contagious viruses that cause respiratory illnesses, and both diseases are spread worldwide. Both can cause a fever, cough, body aches, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea, and both can result in pneumonia. But there are many differences, like transmission, medication, and treatment options.

FACT 4: The virus will likely spread person-to-person through many communities

The CDC reports that everyone should prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 will spread to their community at some point. Person-to-person contact is the most likely way the virus spreads, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.


  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the garbage.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.