Letter for tourists/second home owners re virus precautions from Saranac Lake Hospital

Got this via a FB post. It apparently was sent to homeowner associations in that area. Worth a look since Adirondacks is a popular paddling/especially canoeing location. Cannot speak to enforcement or monitoring, but it will create expectations with the locals.
Cuomo I think said gatherings of 10 people now for these counties, but against traditional parties this is not “large”.

May 18, 2020

Dear Friends,

Welcome home. On behalf of Adirondack Health, we hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

As the weather turns warmer, we wanted to reach out to you with some guidance and best practices to ensure as safe a summer as possible for everyone.

The really good news: Spring is here, the ice is out, your homes wait for your return, and so far, our region has largely been spared from the catastrophic spread of COVID-19. To date, we appear to have successfully limited the reach of the virus by implementing early social distancing measures, backed up by the natural protection our mountains and rural location offer us. However, we are concerned that could change when our population increases going into the summer.

The opportunity

Our region has the chance to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health success story, with our population safe and healthy. But despite our initial success, we remain highly vulnerable to infected persons and asymptomatic carriers of the virus coming from out of the area, whether they are year-round residents, second homeowners, guests of homeowners, athletes or tourists.

How you can be part of this

We are asking the beloved members of our community who will be returning in the coming weeks and months to please take the following actions, in keeping with recent public health guidance:

• Self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days upon reaching your destination. It is best to go directly to your destination and not stop along the way.

• Bring all necessary food and supplies with you to enable the 14-day quarantine, including prescriptions, personal health items and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks. Or, have someone local do your shopping for you to stock your home ahead of time.

• Contact the Adirondack Health COVID Clinic at 518-897-2462 if you are experiencing respiratory distress, shortness of breath, dry cough or fever – during or after quarantine – to receive instructions on accessing appropriate care.

• Comply with all local, state, and federal directives and recommendations regarding physical distancing and other measures to limit the spread of the virus.

• Wear face masks in public places when physical distancing is difficult.

• Refrain from hosting or attending private home parties or large gatherings.

• Be diligent with handwashing and disinfecting much-used surfaces.

• Limit trips to the grocery store.

Many local businesses have adapted to the situation by offering curbside pickup, takeout meals, and limiting the number of patrons inside their businesses. We encourage you to take advantage of these options and abide by such limitations, which are meant to protect all of us. The Adirondack Daily Enterprise prints a list of local restaurants and businesses providing take-out or curb-side pickup. You can also check the Saranac Lake Chamber’s listings or the Tupper Lake Insider. As we progress through the summer, there will likely be more services provided via delivery or video conference, in order to maintain physical distancing.

We look forward to welcoming the many people who help make our region such a special place. We know this season will be unlike any before, and it will take some time to adjust to the new normal. But we’ll get there.

In closing, thank you for weighing all this information as you consider a return to the Adirondacks. We look forward to being back together again as soon as possible, in a safe and responsible manner.


Sylvia Getman
President and CEO
Adirondack Health

An ideal utopia.
It is not happening in Maine and the “quarantine” isn’t workable. People with two weeks off are not going to their summer places to hide for two weeks. The State Parks are full of newly arrived and out and about,( we paddled a local park on Thursday which was hot… Parking lot had about 1/3 out of state plates) While self quarantine is not enforceable I see most from away are courteous and minding their distance. They are just as concerned as we are. People from here and away have a certain subset of I do what I want of course. But most are fine with mask wearing and social distancing.
With most attractions limiting attendance or being closed I am fine with no quarantine; I choose where I go with exposure in mind.

Press Herald had an article about remote sporting camps. With a self quarantine being expected owners are saying that they may all close forever. A shame… a tradition gone.

I don’t think the quarantine mechanism was well thought out. People can quarantine at their destination; most think they cannot. The advice continues to be muddy. The effect of staying apart is to not overwhelm a hospital. The hospital in Saranac Lake has very limited facilities and the nearest large hospital is in Plattsburgh 55 miles away.

I read on FB that the ADK paddling group reports full campsites in the St Regis Canoe Area ( no registration or fee required) this weekend. Doubt that quarantining is happening.

There has been some backlash here against out of staters not seeming to quarantine; some of it is unfounded assumption they are from away and recent arrivals.

Kayamedic, thanks for the local updates. I plan to go ready to follow the rules in order to protect the reputation/whatever of the folks from whom I rent. I have most of the food etc now.

But my biggest complaint about all these quarantines is that the states or the counties imposing it are not doing anything to make life easier for local officials. The folks who will be getting the phone calls. I can think of dumb stuff that might reduce the time chewed up settling a dispute by the car in a parking lot. If I can think of of it, the state could too.

FWIW, the Governor of Vermont issued a pretty obtuse clarification for their quarantine last week. Makes the highway route that avoids VT look good.

I would not worry about travel and being challenged at a VT gas pump nor here… This quarantine thing is noble but in effect impractical for many. Not you who come self contained!

We are afraid of tourists coming to shop at the stores we need to shop in. Heck they can have Freeport…but when I have to wait in line outside for an hour to do my weekly shopping my resentment grows. We don’t have big capacity stores.( our local store is a little smaller than Waldoboro Hannaford) So far lines are minimal but later on who knows? I would say this is the biggest concern among my neighbors who otherwise can avoid anyone and still go paddling boating and swimming!

However mitigating is no cruise ships and summer camps have mostly decided either not to open or be day camps for local kids.

We are going to a campground later which is run by ex Maine IF&W Wardens up in the North Maine Woods. They are pretty strict about following the rules ( and they have issued them about this year too). The clientele is not your beach crowd but usually LEO’s looking to fish or paddle.( and get away from people!)

PS there is no hotline for complaints about mask or non mask wearing. Police if called and have time try and educate… Your landlord is safe. We just all have to watch out for ourselves…

I am wildly looking forward to a visit to the Coastal Botanical Gardens. We will bring lunch and survey the Reds Eats line that with social distancing ought to end in Damariscotta. ( or so the local joke goes)
Crowds are not us; perhaps the psyche of the coastal paddler.

I get it with the tourists shopping in small spaces. I want to support the local small store, but do not want to be in the way of the working fishermen picking up subs. As of last week I have a debit card that allows me to get a variety of stuff beyond vegies via curbside pickup at a farm stand on Rte 1. Same as my CSA back here is operating.

There are a couple of places in Rockland, along the stretch they will be blocking off, that are among my annual pleasures and seem to be finding ways to keep working. I can save big stores for that run if I need.

My concern in the articles I saw the other day was stuff like quotes from Massachusetts residents headed to rental sites at campgrounds for this wknd. In Maine, which is officially a no-no.Very hard to tell right now if there will be some backlash in less smaller communities. Yes, Freeport and that whole stretch is another matter entirely and obviously some people like it. I am not among them.

I sure wish all travelers were as considerate as you, Celia.

I’m in a region where restaurants and businesses were allowed to reopen May 22 because of our low infection rate. Rest of the state is shut down so travel up here was heavy. It was reported this afternoon that two out-of-state residents traveled while ill to visit family in Traverse City. One is now hospitalized in TC, the other in a no-contact hotel room, and the resident family on lock down for 14 days while the health department monitors them.

Consideration and common sense would have avoided this scenario.

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Ugh Rookie! Exactly the story no one wants. Especially the traveling while ill part.

The issue of people flow from more infected to less infected areas is why Governors from the states of PA, NY, MA, CT, NJ and I think RI are coordinating. As apparently are VT, NH and Maine though I can’t speak details of that relationship.

In the case of the first group, they identified beaches as a major target for that kind of problem. So everyone waited until this week to officially open beaches especially the oceanfront ones (outside of beaches within the boroughs of NYC). So CT and NJ for ex would not be overwhelmed by every NYer looking for a beach.

The bad news is why they had to coordinate. Because within large groups of people someone will pull bonehead moves. Broad coordination simply makes it easier for someone who wants to be an idiot to do so closer to home.

I wish all were as considerate as you too. Too early to tell but the cases have started a second uphill ascent after several declining weeks.
While beaches are open only to walkers and swimmers, not sitters, I expect a continued spike. More urbanized areas going down in infection but I fear an increase here. Maine Med had double the cases last week compared to the week before.
If it gets worse is another lockdown going to happen? We who are here have closed borders to Canada so flight there is not possible. I just wish every one would be mindful things are not normal and do their best to behave appropriately while supporting the local economy which is indeed hurting
It starts with not leaving anywhere while ill.

I wonder if instant testing will be required at the border with NH then tracking? No one likes a govt nanny state but it seems like some adults actually need it even if they don’t want it. We are trying to go kayaking in Newfoundland and with the rules in Canada being even more stringent than here we expect to have to undergo a medical exam and tracking by cell phone data. Folks say that is a loss of freedom but it is my choice to agree if I travel . If I don’t like it I can stay home.

Reading about Nova Scotia nothing will be fully open until there is a vaccine. Have no idea if that will happen in the rest of Canada.

I had not paid attention to the details in Canada because of the closed border. Personally I like those rules because they reduce uncertainty. No word back from the dude ranch re my inquiry for September, so I assume they can’t assess situations like mine yet. It’d make sense to require immunization records for international travel once there is a vaccine. Certainly would make me feel better about the person sitting next to me in the plane.

I’d be fine with a test at the border. I would love to have one here, but it is only recently that I may qualify for an antibody for what its worth. Checking that out this week.

Any moving around for the next several months or year risks leaving an area with numbers going down and walking into an area going in the opposite direction. At some point you just travel as safely as possible and behave conservatively. Speaking of which, I am staying so engaged here because I am doing a lot of computer work that is prep for Maine today.

That means limits. I picked up friends at Logan who spent four days of missed and rerouted flights to make literally the last flight out of Dubai before everything was grounded. They only knew they had seats 30 minutes before boarding. They were a mess in the car and were suffering from a low level of PTSD for a few weeks after. No overseas for me until 2022, plenty of National parks I have not seen.

Specifically, not great news about Maine Med. Had cause to deal with them for a hard situation, tremendous doctors and facility. I hope it is a testing burst.