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.
New SLHS Visitor Policy, Effective March 18, 2020, 8:00 am.
There is no greater priority than the health and safety of our patients, team members and the communities we serve. In light of the recent COVID-19 precautions escalation, we have expanded our standardized visitor limitations at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Gouverneur Hospital, and Massena Hospital.
No hospital or physician practice management visitors will be allowed until further notice.
Limited exceptions include:
- One visitor/support person for maternity patients
- One visitor/support person for pediatric patients
- Any other exceptions shall be made at the discretion of the patient’s care team
Visitors who meet these exceptions must be at least 18 years of age
All authorized visitors should expect to be actively screened for entry
Common Questions About COVID-19
How many positive cases are there?
There are currently more than 500,000 reported positive cases worldwide spanning more than 175 countries and territories, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, South Korea, Japan, and most of Europe. New York State has seen an increase in positive cases in recent weeks. 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?
You should only wear a face mask if you are sick and are around other people, according to the CDC. Otherwise, it is not recommended that the general public wear face masks. Face masks should be reserved for caregivers only since the global supply of face masks is limited.
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?
The CDC advises U.S. residents avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Europe. Domestic travel within the United States is also not advised. Entry into the United States from China, Iran, Canada, and most of Europe have been suspended.
How many fatalities have been recorded?
More than 22,000 fatalities have been reported worldwide. The global fatality rate is 4.4%. The United States fatality rate is 1.2%
I’m pregnant or have a newborn. Should I be worried?
There is currently no published scientific reports about the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19, nor is there any evidence to suggest that newborns are more prone to COVID-19 than other age demographics. However, most confirmed cases reported have occurred in adults. No newborns or children have died from the virus in the United States.
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:
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. For urgent questions and concerns about the virus, call the New York State hotline: 1-888-364-3065.
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: Flu is having a larger impact on the U.S. population than COVID-19
Since October 1, the flu has infected as many as 45 million Americans and has caused at least 300,000 hospitalizations and up to 46,000 deaths, according to the CDC. Influenza can have a greater impact on children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
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.