Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Statement March 30, 2020
Behavioral Health Services North (BHSN) Remains Open Providing All Services
Our highest priority remains providing a safe work environment for our staff and the provision of safe, quality care for all clients through telephone, video and other innovative approaches to provide care whenever and however possible.
Please call 518-563-8000 if you or a loved one is in need of services or would like to learn more.
The crisis hotline remains fully functional and can be accessed 24/7 by calling 1-866-5PREVENT (1-866-577-3836)
Statement March 20, 2020
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES NORTH (BHSN) CONTINUES TO PROVIDE UNINTERRUPTED SERVICES TO ITS CLIENTS AND COMMUNITY DURING THIS CHALLENGING TIME
BHSN will remain open and continue to provide its services across the region using a combination of approaches including telephone and video (Telehealth)
Behavioral Health Services North, Inc (BHSN) has taken steps to respond to the current pandemic and is operating in an uninterrupted but modified manner to provide their full-range of services to those in need. Due to modified regulations from multiple New York State Departments, the vast majority of BHSN services have moved to Telehealth to protect both the clients, staff and our community. BHSN has acted quickly in response to the Coronavirus pandemic by migrating over 150 staff members to working in the home environment over the last four days with no delay or interruption in services.
BHSN provides vital services to thousands of individuals through a comprehensive array of programs across Clinton, Franklin, and Essex counties. These services include Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, Child & Family Clinic, School-Based Mental Health Services, Residential Services, PROS, HCBS, Care Management, STOP Domestic Violence, and Healthy Families just to name a few. In times of crisis like these, it is not an option to temporarily halt services, many individuals need to access these services in their everyday lives and rely on these programs to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain in their homes.
Going forward, services will be conducted by a video or audio connection whenever and wherever possible. We continue to provide minimal but critical staffing in several locations including our Center for Well-Being in Morrisonville, NY, to ensure continuity of services and our ability to serve those who may not have access to internet or telephone, or may have needs that are better served using approaches other than telehealth.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions regarding BHSN services, customer service can be reached at (518) 563-8000. Beginning on Monday, March 23rd, the Center for Well-Being will change office hours to 8am-5pm. Individuals who do not have an appointment will be asked to call first to receive a telephone screening and to be screened by nursing staff prior to entering the building.
The crisis hotline remains fully functional and can be accessed 24/7 by calling 1-866-5PREVENT.
BHSN’s website and social media sites will be updated frequently regarding updates and change in services if necessary. BHSN is committed to supporting the community at this time and recognize the current stressors that we are all currently living in.
We know this is a challenging time for everyone. We should all stay at home and be sure to focus on our physical, mental, and social health. To that end and in an effort to support our community, we have launched a new feature on our website, activities. This page will offer daily at-home activities, ideas, etc. to both adults and children to help us take care of us from a physical, mental and social perspective. Join us at www.bhsn.org/activities
Any updates or additional information that affects Behavioral Health Services North services, hours of operation, etc. will be posted here and on our social media platforms.
What you need to know:
The outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is cause for concern, but not panic. BHSN is monitoring the New York State Department of Health to coordinate preparedness efforts based upon guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our highest priority remains providing safe, quality care for all clients.
On this page you will find more information about how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and steps to take if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms.
- Coronavirus was first detected in China is now spreading worldwide.
- The symptoms may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:
- trouble breathing and/or
- The CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.
- Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their health care provider before seeking treatment in person.
- Most cases are now likely to be spread from person to person by droplets when coughing.
- The status for required mandatory quarantine is a person that has been in close contact (6 ft.) with someone who is positive, but is not displaying symptoms for COVID-19; or person has traveled to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Italy and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
- The status for required mandatory isolation is a person that has tested positive for COVID-19, whether or not displaying symptoms for COVID-19.
Ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19
While COVID-19 is front and center in the news, we are in the peak of flu season, and the basics of infection prevention remain paramount for all of us.
- If you’re sick, stay home.
- Practice vigilant hand hygiene.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- If you have a cough, wear a mask.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- If you have a fever or cough, please do not accompany people during their clinic visits.
- Practice social distancing. Stay home when you can. Postpone gatherings—even smaller ones—and use virtual communication to keep in touch. When you must go out, to work or the grocery store, try to keep six feet distance from others. During school closures, keep your children at home.
While COVID-19 is front and center in the news, we are in the peak of flu season, and the basics of infection prevention remain paramount for all of us. These are simple things you can do to help prevent the spread of illness:
- Get a flu shot.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you’re sick, stay home.
- Practice vigilant hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and then appropriately discard the tissue.
- If you have a cough, wear a mask.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Use the following resources to find expert information about COVID-19:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO): Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause respiratory infections in humans, from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms and how do they compare to the Flu or common cold?
Those affected may develop a fever, dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms are sneezing, sore throat and diarrhea. Some people have no symptoms at all, but can still pass on the virus. While the virus can’t be treated, some symptoms can – for example, some people need help with breathing when they have particularly bad cases. At least 80 percent of infected patients will experience minor symptoms and recover as they would from any cold or flu.
How is it transmitted?
COVID-19 spreads through droplets in the air, so coughing and sneezing can spread to nearby people. It’s likely that it can contaminate surfaces as well. The incubation period is thought to be 14 days, however this may change as more about the virus is understood.
I have a cough and a fever, what should I do?
If you’re sick, stay home, practice vigilant hand hygiene, and cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Call your doctor’s office and describe your symptoms. They will be able to advise you on next steps.
How can I prevent it?
Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or portable alcohol hand sanitizer. Wash your hands before you eat. Don’t touch your face. Wash high-use surfaces every day. Avoid crowded spaces. To keep our most vulnerable neighbors safer and protect health care workers, practice “social distancing” and stay home when you can. Postpone gatherings – even smaller ones – and use virtual communication to keep in touch. When you must go out, to work or the grocery store, try to keep a distance of 6 feet from others. While schools are closed, keep your children at home as much as possible. Do not arrange play dates or other group activities.
Why is it so important to avoid crowds even if I feel well?
COVID-19 will spread across the world. We can’t stop it. What we can do is slow the spread of COVID-19 through each region so that hospitals are less overwhelmed, and thus better able to provide world class care to the sickest patients. That means how well a healthy person adheres to social distancing rules affects whether there is a hospital bed available when a vulnerable person gets sick with COVID-19.
How can I stay safe in my home?
Do I need to be tested for COVID-19?
If you are mildly ill, but safe at home, stay home and avoid transmitting the virus to others. Here’s how you can stay safe at home.
You should contact your doctor to request consideration for testing if you are:
- Sick enough to require urgent medical care
- Have mild respiratory tract infection symptoms (fever, new cough, new shortness of breath) AND very high risk of severe disease: 65 or older, immunocompromised (cancer, solid organ transplant, other immunosuppressive drugs, chronic lung disease, hemodialysis, advanced HIV)
- Have mild respiratory tract infection symptoms (fever, new cough, new shortness of breath) AND very high risk of known COVID-19 (known lab diagnosed COVID-19 case, travel to CDC level 3 countries
What to do if you feel sick
Call your primary care provider. If you don’t have one, call 2-1-1 and phone support staff will help you find care. Do not go to a healthcare facility unless you have life-threatening symptoms, like difficulty breathing or a severe headache.