General Content

Hospital Visitor Restrictions & Screening Policies

Updated: December 8, 2023

Guidelines for Visiting St. Lawrence Health 

Effective December 8, 2023: Visitor limitations are in place while flu season is upon us.

  • Visitors must be 12 years or older
  • No more than two (2) visitors at bedside (parents and caregivers are not counted as visitors.)
  • If you have a sore throat, fever, runny nose, cough, or other flu-like symptom, reconsider visiting until you are well.

St. Lawrence Health updated its masking guidance following the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on May 11, 2023. As was the practice before the COVID-19 pandemic, masking may continue in certain high-risk areas, including areas serving immunocompromised patients. Those areas will have signage explaining that masking remains mandatory. 


  • Visiting hours for all SLH hospital inpatient units are:
    • Canton-Potsdam Hospital: 9:00am - 8:00pm
    • Gouverneur Hospital: 9:00am - 8:00pm
    • Massena Hospital: 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • Emergency Departments will permit One (1) Visitor with a patient receiving care in the Emergency Department with no restrictions regarding visiting hours.
  • Birthing Center allows two support persons (same two from start to discharge) allowed to stay with mom. Allow four visitors per day with only two visiting at a time. Visiting is from 1pm-8pm. No visitors under age 12.

General Guidance

  • Patients undergoing same-day procedures may be accompanied to the facility by a companion for pre-procedure (surgery) and post-procedure (surgery). Pediatric patients undergoing procedures may have up to two (2) Support Persons.
    • The Visitor must remain masked at all times and must maintain social distancing and hand hygiene as outlined in this policy.


Visitor: an individual, 12 years of age or older that is able to visit with a patient within the SLH defined visitation hours. A Visitor may also be defined as a guest, one that makes formal visits of inspection and/or support of services.  

Support Person: an individual, 18 years of age or older and are essential to patient care. They include:

  • A parent or guardian of a pediatric patient
  • A Support Person to a laboring patient
  • Care Partner-care partner identified by the patient as the primary individual to be involved in providing care and care decisions
  • A person who is medically necessary for the care of a patient including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD)
  • Patients with cognitive impairments including dementia or in imminent end-of-life situations for a patient who is actively dying and death is anticipated within less than 24 hours