St. Lawrence County Public Health has stopped contact tracing; isolation and quarantine move to an honor system | Public Service News

CANTON – Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department will stop contact tracing and investigating cases except those they identify as the most vulnerable populations. These include older adults, school-aged children, people in daycares, nursing homes, health care facilities and other congregate settings.

Additionally, Isolation and Quarantine are moving to an honor system. The department said in a news release that those who test positive should self-isolate and notify any close contacts who may have been exposed.

“You may not receive a call from St. Lawrence County/New York State Public Health if you have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19. However, you will still be notified by where you were tested of your results,” the department said. “People who have tested positive will be required to self-isolate and anyone who has been exposed must self-quarantine.”

County officials cite New York state’s “evolving priorities” as the reason for the change.

“We are seeing a higher number of new infections every day than we have seen at any time throughout the pandemic and staff are unable to reach all cases and contacts in a timely manner. In an effort to increase the effectiveness of contact tracing and our response, our department will transition to a self-directed isolation and quarantine process,” said Jolene F. Munger, acting county director of public health, in a press release.

The county has reported 200 to 300 new cases of COVID-19 per day so far in 2022.

Anyone notified that they are a close contact should self-quarantine, unless exempt, and monitor for symptoms. They should get tested on the fifth day after exposure, or sooner if symptoms develop.

For more information on who is considered a close contact, see the State Department of Health’s Contact Tracing and Case Investigation Online FAQ at

Employers, schools, daycares, and health care facilities should work with staff, students, and customers to help them identify and report exposures that occur in their facilities. For schools, this may mean a change to general notification that a student in a class has tested positive and, in some situations, students may still be excluded from school, the department said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the county and across the country, health officials say it’s vital that all residents continue to follow what they call “the six pillars of prevention” to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The six pillars are self-isolating and notifying close contacts of a positive result; self-quarantine in case of exposure; wear a mask in public; hand washing; staying home when sick; get tested if sick or exposed; and get vaccinated and boosted.

Anyone who is not vaccinated or strengthened can visit the county’s website,, or call 315-386-2325 for a list of vaccination clinics and to schedule an appointment. .

“We must continue to apply the six pillars of prevention to protect others and prevent the spread when we test positive for COVID-19,” Ms. Munger said. “The basic isolation and quarantine processes do not change; however, it will now emphasize personal responsibility to do the right thing and SLCPH would like to thank those who complied with public health orders.

People who have been notified that they have tested positive for COVID-19 can submit an online isolation request form at or visit the county website.

To determine the length of isolation or quarantine, visit the county’s website. For specific guidance for people living in communities and healthcare workers, see the state DOH website.

Anyone who tests positive at home should submit results online at, call 315-286-2325 or email [email protected]

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