CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Respiratory illnesses are overwhelming the North Country.

The community is being faced with a “triple threat” of illnesses, this includes influenza, COVID-19 and RSV, according to St. Lawrence County Public Health.

Public Health warned that these illnesses are most dangerous for young children, seniors and those with underlying diseases.

To address this spike in illness, and in accordance with recent guidance from the New York State Department of Health and Education Department, St. Lawrence County is now recommending mask-wearing in public.

Moving forward, the public is now urged to wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask when in public indoor spaces, especially while traveling and at large gatherings.

Additionally, mask-wearing is encouraged in public for those experiencing symptoms, as well as COVID-19 patients ten days after testing positve.

St. Lawrence County is also encouraging people to take the following steps to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:

  • Stay up to date with vaccinations, especially flu and COVID-19
  • Stay home when sick or symptomatic
  • Test with at home COVID-19 test kits
  • Report any positive COVID-19 at home test results to Public Health
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than hands
  • Wash hands, particularly before eating

Public Health also offers vaccines for COVID-19 and flu. Free COVID-19 test kits and masks can be picked up at the Human Services Building at 80 State Highway 310 Canton, New York.