Statement from St. Lawrence County and the Presidents of Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and the St. Lawrence County Board of Health are committed to protecting the health and safety of our students, our employees, and the county’s residents during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. We value the inclusion of everyone who makes the North Country such a special place to live, learn and work. Together, we are implementing the ‘New York State on PAUSE’ Executive Order, taking strong action to contain the growing spread of COVID-19. 

We recognize some community concerns that students on our campuses, especially those who may have returned from beyond St. Lawrence County, could introduce and spread the virus. Using the guidance of New York State, as well as federal and international experts, the universities and the County are closely coordinating efforts to protect everyone’s health and safety. Like anyone who has been in areas impacted by the virus, students are not being allowed back onto the college campuses without fully vetted approvals and are subject to self-isolation measures. Many never left for Spring Break and have remained in St. Lawrence County since January. Those returning from areas where the virus is more prevalent have undertaken self-isolation measures, as recommended by the Public Health Department and federal guidance.

The students living on the four campuses are here because they are international students and cannot travel to their home countries, or they do not have a safe or secure place to live away from campus. St. Lawrence County is their home and the only safe place for them. 

Together, the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, with the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and the St. Lawrence County Board of Health, will continue to coordinate monitoring, screening, and best practices for isolation to limit the spread of COVID-19.


Anthony G. Collins
Clarkson University

Kristin G. Esterberg
SUNY Potsdam

William L. Fox
St. Lawrence University

Zvi Szafran
SUNY Canton

Ruth Doyle
County Administrator
St. Lawrence County

Dana McGuire, PhD
Public Health Director
St. Lawrence County
Public Health Department

Andrew Williams, MD, FACP
St. Lawrence County
Board of Health

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