Public health officials in the north country are sounding the alarm about a spike in new cases of the novel coronavirus, and for good reason.

The tri-county area confirmed 92 positive test results between Friday and Tuesday. If residents do not take this ongoing pandemic seriously, more rules could be implemented to lower the numbers.

Members of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators declared a state of emergency during their meeting Monday, which went into effect Tuesday. There were 40 new cases confirmed last week, with 26 new cases logged Saturday and Sunday and eight Tuesday.

“There are options related to restrictions of travel and things like that,” county Administrator Ruth A. Doyle said Monday, according to a story published Monday by the Watertown Daily Times ( “None are in place at this time; they would come out as emergency orders under the state of emergency, but we are very concerned. And I think getting the attention of county residents, heightening their awareness of what’s happening with the cases, is really important.”

What’s peculiar is that while St. Lawrence County legislators heard about a growing number of positive cases Monday, most of them failed to adhere to safety protocols. Eight of the nine legislators present didn’t wear masks for much of the meeting. Legislators Larry Denesha, R-DeKalb, proved the exception, wearing a mask throughout the proceedings.

All students at J.W. Leary Junior High School in Massena began remote learning Tuesday; this will remain in effect until Nov. 20. Officials of Massena Central School District discovered that additional staff members had come into contact with an individual who tested positive. Students at St. Lawrence University in Canton went to remote learning this week after the school detected traces of the coronavirus in its wastewater.

Jefferson County recorded 14 new cases Monday and four Tuesday. Watertown City School District announced Monday that another student has tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing this number to 11.

Lewis County saw its confirmed numbers rise by 17 cases Monday and nine Tuesday. The county had five new cases Saturday and eight Sunday. Middle schoolers at Copenhagen Central School District went to remote learning Thursday due to the number of teachers who have been placed in quarantine.

Other parts of Northern New York have reported sobering news as well.

Franklin County recorded its first two deaths due to COVID-19 this week. Students at all schools in the county switched to remote learning until Jan. 4.

State Assemblyman William A. Barclay, R-Pulaski, announced Monday that he has become infected.

“As a precautionary measure, I took a COVID-19 test today,” he said in a news release. “Regrettably, I have tested positive for the virus. Since the start of the outbreak, I have taken social distancing guidelines very seriously and I encourage others to continue to do so. I’m optimistic for a quick turnaround.”

Our colleagues at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake also have been affected. The newspaper tweeted the following Monday: “An Enterprise reporter who interviewed voters on Election Day has tested positive for COVID-19, and much of the newspaper’s staff has been placed on quarantine until Nov. 17. The Enterprise will continue to publish, both in print and online.”

These are very unfortunate instances, and we hope everyone identified as infected makes it through this ordeal safely. COVID-19 can seriously impair people even if they survive, so it’s crucial that we all remain cautious.

The rules about wearing masks, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, frequently washing hands and disinfecting surfaces regularly are just as vital now as they were when the pandemic began. We don’t want the state to reimpose restrictions, so we must find ways to control this crisis ourselves.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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(9) comments


I support a 4-6 week nation-wide lockdown, now.


Come on man, Joe has a Plan...


Joe isn’t president until January 20th. I say that for reality-based people who realize the cries of voter fraud are only to soothe the hurt fee fees of our current president. Trump is going to do essentially nothing between now and the inauguration on Covid or anything else except sulk about being a loser.

Biden has at least put together a team including Rick Bright. The good in that is that some Republican governors may take the coming of executive leadership as carte blanche to mandate steps they weren’t doing because they didn’t want to upset their leader.

I’d like to think by January 20th some of those red states are going to realize what a blessing has been bestowed upon them by reality-based voters as their hospitals lay in ruins and many of their friends and neighbors are either deceased or suffering long-term health effects from Covid.


Joe shouldn't even need a plan Holmes... Quiz...which is it? Choose 1......we've "turned the corner".. "it's going away"... "we'll have a vaccination by election day".... "it's all political and will go away after the election".. “Coronavirus numbers are looking MUCH better, going down almost everywhere,” and cases are “coming way down.” “85 percent of the people wearing masks catch” ...and my personal favorite "medical experts should research the use of powerful light and injected disinfectants to treat COVID-19..... And the GOP wonder's why he lost..


And the GOP wonder's why he lost..

They should wonder how they’re going to avoid having him as leader of their party babbling about running in 2024 even after he’s dragged pouting and screaming from the WH in January.


For those who want low taxes, wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently, stay home if possible, and encourage others to do likewise. If not, the finanacial costs of foolishness will hit your pocket books either directly or through much higher taxes.

hermit thrush



If Americans treat Thanksgiving, Christmas and the other upcoming Holidays like normal New Year’s is going to be very somber.


Nailed it KR... and those same ones will scream and blame Cuomo when he shuts down businesses.. Want to attend church in mass, want to have a baptism in mass, Halloween party in mass?... go for it...just don't complain when you can't go to work because they've shut down your business...

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