First confirmed COVID-19 case in St. Lawrence County
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 11:15 am

CANTON --One person has tested positive for COVID-19, according to health officials.

St. Lawrence County Administrator Ruth Doyle and St. Lawrence County Public Health Director Dana McGuire announced today that county officials have learned of a positive test result for Coronavirus (COVID-19) within St. Lawrence County. The test results were confirmed today, March 25.

The confirmed case is a patient from St. Lawrence County. The local health department is getting in touch with anyone who may have been in contact with this individual. No additional information is being released at this time due to patient privacy laws, county officials said.

Local health officials declined to specify where the testing was done or what municipality the person who tested positive resided in, citing directions from the State Department of Health.

"This is what we will be providing at this time. We receive consultation from NYSDOH on guidance and if further information can be provided, we will do so," St. Lawrence County Public Health Director Dana Olzenak-McGuire.

The first case of coronavirus was also reported today in Franklin County. The confirmation comes from the Franklin County Office of Emergency Services Facebook page.

In response to this case and continuing recommendations from the state and federal governments, on March 16, the chair of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators, Joseph Lightfoot, has issued a State of Emergency to help prevent the spread of this disease.

The Public Health Department is strongly recommending residents stay home. The recommendation continues to be no unnecessary travel, avoid group gatherings, and avoid contact with other people. If essential travel is required (i.e. work, groceries, and/or medical needs), social distancing should be practiced, which means keeping a minimum of six feet apart from others.

St. Lawrence Health System and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center are working together to implement testing criteria and plan for increased hospital capacity, a news release from the county said. They currently have fewer than 20 ICU beds between both organizations.

Additionally, following Governor Cuomo’s directive, St. Lawrence County reduced county employees working in county facilities by 50% by implementing work from home protocols for many employees which began, Wednesday, March 18.

A number of County facilities are now closed to the public:

• St. Lawrence County Court House Offices are closed to the public, but some essential court functions are taking place.

• St. Lawrence County Public Safety Complex

• St. Lawrence County Human Services Center

• St. Lawrence County DMV Offices

• St. Lawrence County Surrogate Building

• All nutrition sites