PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County is now requiring all visitors to all county buildings to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

The move was prompted by a continuing rise in COVID-19 cases in the county and the region.

On Thursday, the Clinton County Health Department reported 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases up to 118 from 110 on Wednesday.

The Department of Motor Vehicles office in the Clinton County Government Center was forced to close to the public Tuesday after three staff members there tested positive.

The DMV facility has been thoroughly cleaned and all employees tested.

The closure is until further notice.

On Thursday, a day after legislators met for a regular meeting, the county issued a notice that effective immediately, all visitors at all county buildings require face coverings regardless of vaccination status.

Previously, those who have been vaccinated were not required to wear a mask.


In Franklin County, numbers continue to rise as well.

There were 22 new cases reported by the Franklin County Health Department Thursday, bringing their total of active cases up to 189.

UVM Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, the Franklin County seat, has updated its welcoming policy, as part of the hospital’s efforts to combat the spread of the delta variant.

Effective Thursday, visitation at the hospital will be limited to 4 hours per day: 10 a.m. to Noon and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, a news release said.

The hospital’s updated policy also includes changes to the number of visitors some patients may receive while under Alice Hyde’s care, including:

• Patients in the Emergency Department may have 1 visitor.

• Patients undergoing same-day or ambulatory surgery procedures may be accompanied by one support person. The support person may accompany the patient during check-in procedures, and must return to their vehicle during the patient’s procedure. The support person may re-enter the hospital and accompany the patient during check-out.

• COVID-positive patients or those suspected of having COVID may have one visitor at a time, with no restrictions placed on the total number of visitors. Those visiting a COVID-positive patient or PUI must be vaccinated and wear full PPE throughout their visit.

The hospital’s updated welcoming policy reflects guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Alice Hyde’s commitment to ensuring patients and their loved ones are able to connect while in the hospital, said Matt Jones, Alice Hyde’s Chief Operating Officer.

“In recent weeks we have seen how opportunistic and fast-moving the coronavirus’ delta variant is,” Jones said.

“While limiting visitation for our patients and families in any way is never an easy decision, our first priority continues to be the health and safety of our patients and our people. We know family, friends and loved ones are important members of our patients’ care teams, and we will continue to ensure they play a key role in patients recovering and supporting their well-being.”

COVID-19 precautions remain in effect in health care settings throughout New York State. Anyone entering the hospital or any other Alice Hyde facility must be screened for symptoms of the virus and is required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth throughout their time in any Alice Hyde facility.

More information and a full copy of the hospital’s welcoming policy is available on the Alice Hyde website at:


In Essex County, the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases also continued to rise.

The Essex County Health Department reported on Thursday that there were 22 new cases since Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The total of cases in the county increased from 59 to 71.

Email Joe LoTemplio:

Twitter: @jlotemplio



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