COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)


Information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Information is constantly changing and evolving with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). With that in mind, we are directing any member of the public with questions about it to click here to visit the state health department website on COVID-19, as it has the most relevant, up-to-date information.

If you have any questions or concerns or are looking for additional information, please call the hotline set up by the New York State Department of Health: 1-888-364-3065. If you simply have questions, it's essential that you use this number rather than contacting the hospital, which will need all of its resources to treat sick patients.

If you think you may be sick with COVID-19, the best thing to do is to stay home and recover there. There is currently no treatment specific to COVID-19 - the only course of action is to treat the symptoms associated with it.

If you need medical assistance, please call our COVID-19 screening and triage clinic at 518-897-2462.

How to manage COVID-19

Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms and recover. If you get sick with it, you should:

  • Stay home.
  • Stay away from family members or other people quarantined in your home as much as possible - staying in a separate room is best, if possible.
  • Sick people should use a separate bathroom from people who aren’t sick, if space allows.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Eat nutritious meals.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Use soap and water, a bleach mixed with water, or EPA-approved household products. You can make your own cleanser with a mixture of 1 cup of liquid unscented chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of water.
  • Anyone at high risk for complications should talk to their healthcare provider for more information.

Everyone should do the following to avoid getting sick or to avoid spreading the virus to others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Click here to find more information about safely cleaning to protect from COVID-19.

Mental health help

Many people have a difficult time self-isolating, and mental health problems may arise or be amplified during this time. The state has set up a web page with mental health resources, and a phone line for anyone who needs emotional support: 1-844-863-9314.

How can I help?

Adirondack Health has been humbled by the many generous offers from community members looking for ways to help during the spread of COVID-19. We are deeply grateful and recognize many feel the need to do something to help in times like these. We know that working together we will overcome this crisis. 

Our highest priority is keeping patients and staff safe.  

  • Please stay home unless absolutely necessary. This protects you, but it also protects others as well, including Adirondack Health staff.
  • Keep a social distance of 6 feet. Try measuring 6 feet with a tape measure; it’s farther than you think. 

  • If you have traveled anywhere outside the Tri-Lakes, it is a good idea to self-quarantine for 14 days, especially if you have been in a large metropolitan area, on an airplane, or abroad.


Consider a monetary contribution to the Adirondack Health Foundation's COVID-19 Community Response Fund. A donation to this fund will ensure Adirondack Health has money available to use during this unprecedented crisis.  Click here to donate online, or send a check to:     

Adirondack Health Foundation

COVID-19 Community Response Fund
PO Box 120
Saranac Lake, NY  12983

We would also appreciate donations of:

  • Boxes of unopened surgical masks

  • Boxes of unopened N-95 masks

  • Boxes of unopened non-latex gloves

  • Unopened safety goggles or glasses

Many sewers have expressed an interested in helping. We have identified a way that your help would be incredibly useful: Our nursing staff would appreciate the headbands pictured below. When nurses wear masks all day, their ears can get sore easily, so these headbands have buttons on them to hold the masks in place while stopping the strain on ears. Find your favorite headband pattern, and sew large buttons on the sides near the ears - quick and easy!

We DO NOT need homemade face mask or mask shields. While we deeply appreciate the gesture, homemade masks are not personal protection equipment (PPE) and would only be used in an extreme shortage situation.  

If you have any of these items available to donate, please contact Hannah Hanford at or call 518-897-2348.

What else can I do?

Consider donating blood. Many blood drives have been canceled due to the pandemic, and blood shortages are expected. If you are feeling well and are in Plattsburgh, stop by the Adirondack Regional Blood Center at 85 Plaza Blvd, Suite 102, to donate.

Beware of scams

Scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate.

Protect yourself from scammers!

Be suspicious of the following:

  • Unsolicited requests for your Medicare or Medicaid number.
  • Anyone who unexpectedly calls or visits offering COVID-19 tests or supplies.
  • Offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites.

A doctor or other trusted healthcare provider should assess your condition and approve any COVID-19 testing.

If you suspect fraud, contact National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline 866-720-5721 or To learn more about COVID-19 scams, click here.

Visitors restricted

For the safety of everyone involved, Adirondack Health is restricting visitors to Mercy Living Center and Adirondack Medical Center.

Adirondack Medical Center

The hospital is closed to all visitors, in accordance with guidance issued by the state Department of Health.

Exceptions will be made in rare circumstances: if it's medically necessary (like if the visitor is essential to the care of the patient) or for family members or legal representatives of patients in imminent end-of-life situations. Any visitor meeting these exceptions will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms - cough, fever or shortness of breath - or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19. The length and frequency of visits will be minimized to the greatest extent possible.

Mercy Living Center

Our nursing home in Tupper Lake is closed to all visitors. We are following the state’s directive under Gov. Andrew Cuomo to protect the most at-risk population, the elderly, from the spread of the virus.

If a patient is receiving end-of-life care or under dire circumstances (with the use of protective equipment), special considerations may be made.

All staff are required to wear masks and will be monitored for symptoms.

Gym and Fit for Life

The state has directed gyms to shut down, so the Adirondack Health Medical Fitness Center is closed. All Fit for Life and cardiac rehabilitation sessions are also canceled until further notice.

Gift shop closed

The gift shop at Adirondack Medical Center is closed, and all volunteer services are currently suspended.


Who is being tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 testing at Adirondack Health is restricted to inpatients and those who are sick enough to be admitted at Adirondack Medical Center.

Adirondack Health still has the supplies necessary to conduct COVID-19 tests. The testing policy has been put in place because there are national testing supply shortages, and there's uncertainty about when backordered supplies can be delivered.

Why can't I get in the door I normally enter through at the hospital?

To limit the spread of viruses, we have locked all the hospital doors except for the main lobby entrance. Anyone who needs to come to the hospital will be screened by our staff as they enter.

Why are we not allowing visitors at Mercy Living Center?

We are following the state’s directive under Gov. Andrew Cuomo to protect the most at-risk population, the elderly, from the spread of the virus. This may be reviewed for patients with end-of-life care or under dire circumstances (with the use of protective equipment). All staff are being asked to wear masks and will be monitored for symptoms.

Do we have enough test kits?

We have adequate supplies to take specimens from patients to send out to the state labs for testing.

What should I do if you’re flying back from a foreign country or returning from a cruise?

If you recently traveled, the CDC is recommending you self-isolate for 14 days. For more information about the risks of  travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

Prevent the spread

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 continues to be good hygiene practices that should also be followed for flu prevention or any time:

  • Wash your hands often.

Honestly, it is hard to overdo it, especially during flu season: Wet, lather, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry. Consider keeping an alcohol-based hand sanitizer around for those times when soap and water might not be readily available. Click here to visit the CDC's website, where detailed information on proper handwashing can be found.

  • Don’t touch your face.

And, if you must touch your face, wash your hands immediately before doing so. Mucus membranes on your face are the openings through which respiratory infections enter your body.

  • If you need to cough or sneeze, do so into your sleeve.

Then wash your hands anyway.

  • Prepare to stay at home.

If you come down with any kind of communicable disease, often defined by a fever and any other symptom, do your best to keep it out of schools, workplaces, etc. We understand the tough balance that exists between calling in sick and meeting your monthly bills. Just try to use your best judgment.

Click here to find plenty of information about protecting yourself and your family from COVID-19.

We are prepared

Adirondack Health is closely monitoring the situation. We have been taking the following precautions since the outbreak began:

  • Reviewing all emergency plans and updating them as necessary to ensure we’re ready for COVID-19 cases in our area.
  • Monitoring our supply levels and ensuring that we have enough on hand to treat our patients.
  • Taking stock of our space and preparing for any future influx of patients.
  • Meeting and speaking regularly with county, state and national officials to ensure we have the most current information, as things are changing quickly.
  • Meeting regularly with our staff to answer questions and ensure that our team is up to date and familiar with all plans and protocols.

Guiding you

March 27, 2020

President and CEO Sylvia Getman, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Darci Beiras and Communications Director Matt Scollin answered questions from the community in a Q&A hosted by the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

March 25, 2020

President and CEO Sylvia Getman talks to the Adirondack Explorer about Adirondack Health's preparations for the expected influx of patients dealing with COVID-19.

March 23, 2020

CEO Sylvia Getman spoke to U.S. News and World Report about dealing with COVID-19 as a rural health system.

March 19, 2020

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Darci Beiras spoke to Adirondack 105 and 93.3 &102.1 The Mix about COVID-19, Adirondack Health's preparations for it, and what you can do to help prevent it from spreading.

March 10, 2020
Click here to go in depth on COVID-19 and coronaviruses with Medical Director of Infectious Disease Dr. Diana Christensen


This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. All information is meant for use by healthcare workers and not the general public. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. No physician-patient relationship is created by this website or its use. Neither Adirondack Health nor its employees, nor any contributor to this web site, makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.

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