Hospital ends mask rule today

Requirement remains at Mercy; COVID testing moved to lab

Adirondack Medical Center Director of Education Kristin Finn stands inside the “COVID cabin” — the hospital’s structure for COVID-19 testing, which Finn has decorated to resemble an Adirondack cabin — in March 2022. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Marbone)

SARANAC LAKE — Effective today, masks will no longer be required for healthy individuals at Adirondack Health campuses — with the exception of the Mercy Living Center nursing home in Tupper Lake, where the masking requirement will remain in place.

Also, as of today, drive-up testing will be discontinued at the COVID cabin behind the Annex building at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. All COVID-19 testing is moving to the outpatient lab next to AMC’s main lobby.

Pre-operative testing will no longer be required for surgical patients or inpatients at time of admission, unless they are symptomatic (fever, respiratory or gastrointestintinal issues). Adirondack Health will no longer test inpatient admissions routinely except for obstetrical patients and patients of the Colby Center Senior Behavioral Health Unit. A doctor’s order will be required for all testing. All individuals requiring tests will conduct self-performed nasal swabs. The COVID clinic fax line will forward to the patient registration fax line, beginning today.

Adirondack Health’s Medical Executive Committee voted to end the universal mask mandate this week, keeping its policy in line with current guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State Department of Health and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive orders.

This policy change applies to employees, patients, visitors, volunteers, vendors and students. However, masks will still be required for the following scenarios:

¯ anyone who has had close contact or a high-risk exposure to someone with a COVID-19 infection

¯ anyone providing direct care to patients who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

¯ anyone who has not received the influenza vaccine for the current season (masking only required in clinical areas).

Anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask may continue to do so.


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