River Hospital, others in area take extra precautions due to uptick in COVID cases

River Hospital suspends patient visits

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (WWNY) - An uptick in COVID-19 along the St. Lawrence River has River Hospital in Alexandria Bay suspending visitation. They’re not the only ones in the area taking precautions.

Signs are up on the doors at Alexandria Bay's River Hospital. No visitors, except under limited circumstances.

Chief Nursing Officer Mindy Hunter says staff made the call Monday.

"Our team chose to limit visitation once again as we had back at the initial start of COVID-19, given the surge of positive numbers in our general area," she said.

That surge stems from 4th of July gatherings along the St. Lawrence River that has left close to two dozen infected with the virus.

Hunter says they're following previous state guidelines for hospital visitors.

Those had only few exceptions like pediatric patients with parents and end of life care.

Hunter says it wasn't just staff concerned about the rise of COVID-19 cases in the area.

"We have had patients express some concern in our community, given the outbreak here," she said.

Alexandria Bay's Dockside Pub also took precautions during the area's uptick in positive cases. Management says they closed last week and only recently reopened.

"I didn't want to put anyone in jeopardy, especially my employees or customers. So, we took it upon ourselves to close," said Brianna Sposato, Dockside Pub manager.

She says that was last Wednesday and they opened back up Monday. She says all employees have since been tested for the virus and so far none have been positive.

Sposato says staff also took time to deep clean.

"Me and two other staff members decided to clean everything. We got out the bleach, we got the Clorox wipes," she said.

Back at River Hospital, Hunter says leadership will reevaluate next Monday if they can return to the state’s current guidance on hospital visitation, which allows a patient one visitor at a time and caps visits at 4 hours.

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