More information about Coronavirus COVID-19


The New York State Department of Health has issued mandatory visitation guidelines for all hospitals in New York State. In compliance with the state’s order, Columbia Memorial Hospital will be taking the following required actions:

As of March 19, 2020, no visitors will be allowed access to the hospital or the emergency room. 

Effective immediately, per the state’s order, we have suspended all visitation. Exceptions may be made when medically necessary (i.e. visitor is essential to the care of the patient) or for certain other, limited circumstances. These exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the staff caring for the patient.


General Update

Federal and state public health officials indicate that the virus will continue to spread. Our focus is taking the steps necessary to ensure we can respond to the community’s needs as this evolves. Each of us can do our part to slow the transmission. Learn more about what you can do here:

You can also help by strictly adhering to the new statewide visitation policy noted above, and by using our hotline if you suspect you have been exposed to the virus. If you think you have been exposed, call 518-828-8249 BEFORE you come to the ER or any other CMH care center.

Over the course of this epidemic, we expect there will be persons who will become infected. In each instance, we have very clear protocols in place to care for those persons and to protect others from related exposure.



Learn how Columbia Memorial Health is responding to the outbreak and what you should do if feeling sick.

Columbia Memorial Health remains on heightened alert as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, and we are prepared to respond for the community.

Outbreaks are always a public health concern, so it’s essential that health care workers and the public at-large avoid contact with the virus, protect themselves, control the potential spread of the virus and offer or receive the best treatment options should they become infected.

The following answers some frequently asked questions about the virus and CMH’s approach to containing and treating it.


What should I do if I think I’ve contracted the COVID-19 VIRUS?

CMH has established a hotline for persons concerned that they may have contracted the virus. If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, or if you have reason to believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus, please call the hotline at 518-828-8249. A trained staff member will provide guidance concerning testing, care and protective protocols. To best protect you, our patients, our staff and the public, it is very important that you call this number before seeking care for a coronavirus related concern. As always, if there is an emergent need for care of any kind, come directly to the ER without delay.

Any limitations for CMH Outpatient Facilities?

We are posting routine updates concerning our outpatient facilities on our Facebook page.

What is COVID-19?

While coronaviruses are common throughout the world, scientists have identified seven different types of the virus, from the common cold to more severe diseases such as coronavirus. This novel coronavirus is called COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that primarily spreads when coming in contact with the respiratory droplets — coughing, sneezing, saliva or nasal discharge — from an infected person.

To minimize spreading the virus, it is critical to practice good hygiene, washing your hands regularly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. Also, make sure to cough or sneeze into your flexed elbow and immediately discard tissues after being used.

What are the symptoms?

People with COVID-19 usually have a fever and respiratory symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, sore throat and runny nose. Some patients have gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea) as well.  In most patients the symptoms are not severe enough to warrant hospitalization, but in some patients (particularly those over the age of 60 or with weakened immune systems) symptoms can progress to pneumonia and in the most severe cases even death.

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated based on your clinical condition. Supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

If I have flu-like symptoms, what should I do?

If you aren’t feeling well, the best advice is to stay home and rest. Drink plenty of clear fluids. If symptoms persist or worsen, call your primary care physician or other health care provider, or our hotline referenced above. They will ask you a series of questions to determine if you are at risk of a COVID-19 infection.

Who is CMH testing?

At this point, we are ONLY testing individuals who are ill enough to require hospitalization. Due to a national shortage of testing kits, we have suspended on-demand public testing.

How is CMH protecting staff?

All front-line providers in CMH’s Emergency Departments are trained and wearing the recommended personal protective equipment to reduce exposure when a potential case presents. CMH is following standards that meet and go beyond the CDC’s recommendations. The COVID-19 outbreak is an evolving situation and the health system stands ready to adhere to changing recommendations from regulatory agencies.


Helpful Resources

NYSDOH: Novel Coronavirus

CDC: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC: What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065