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General Content

Hospital Visitor Restrictions & Screening Policies

Updated: October 26, 2022

Guidelines for Visiting St. Lawrence Health 

The NYS Department of Health (NYS DOH) no longer requires hospitals to maintain formal visitor check-in processes for contact tracing purposes.

  • Patients will check in at registration.
  • Visitors must check in at information desks/switchboard areas for further direction. Entrances to buildings will continue to be controlled for security purposes.

NOTEVisitors and support persons must continue to wear a medical mask, that completely covers their nose and mouth, for the duration of the visit. Cloth masks are unacceptable; a medical-grade mask will be provided for you if needed.


Hospital Visitation hours are from 9 am - 1 pm, and 4 pm - 8 pm at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Gouverneur Hospital, and Massena Hospital. Visitors must be 12 years of age or older.

Emergency Department Visitation for all three hospitals is one visitor per patient, with no restriction on hours.


  • Patient can have multiple visitors but no more than two at the bedside at a time.
  • End-of-Life visits in the hospital are not restricted. However, social distancing must be maintained. Please work with families to avoid overcrowding.
  • Same-day/ambulatory procedures or surgeries:
    •  One companion is permitted for pre-procedure (surgery) and post-procedure (surgery).
    • Pediatric patients may have up to two support persons at a time.
    • Visitors must remain masked at all times and must maintain social distancing and hand hygiene.
      • All visitors must remain masked for the duration of their visit with a medical-grade mask. Masks will be provided upon entry if needed.
      • Please note: Visitation will be limited for COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 positive patients. Refer to the policy for specific details.


  • Allow two support persons at the bedside at a time.
  • Labor & Delivery:
    • Triage: one support person
    • Admission, labor, delivery, and recovery: two support persons
    • Post-partum: two support persons
  • Patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, cognitive impairment, dementia: one support person + additional visitor during visitation hours.


Vistor: an individual, 12 years of age or older that is able to visit with a patient within the SLH defined visitation hours.
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
  • 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.

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