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medical center

Samaritan returns to mask-optional policy at most locations

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Samaritan Medical Center announced Wednesday that it will return to mask-optional guidelines effective immediately in most locations for staff, patients and visitors.

The hospital had been requiring masks in each of its locations since late August following an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the community.

There are, however, some exceptions to the mask-optional policy. Masks will still be required in the emergency department and long-term care facilities.

Samaritan said in a statement that the decision to continue to require masks at those locations comes from seeing an increase in positive cases among residents in the long-term care setting and the increased risk associated with patient and employee illness and/or exposure in the emergency department environment.

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Washington Summit medical center gets approval

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Developer Michael E. Lundy on Monday got the go-ahead to construct a 24,000-square-foot medical center at Washington Summit in the medical complex that he owns on outer Washington Street.

The project went through some changes. The facility will no longer be a 30,000-square-foot multi-tenant building, but will be the home of the medical center, with space for future expansion.

Jared Dickinson, an architectural draftsman for Lundy, said he could not identify the tenant on Monday.

But Lundy said last week that he would be able to release more information next month after he works out more details with the tenant about the building.

On Monday, the Planning Board approved the site plans for the medical center on the condition that the owner provides information about the exterior’s colors and about installing a traffic sign.

During the meeting, two women involved in nearby businesses expressed concerns about traffic driving through the sprawling medical office complex.

Dr. Jill Laureano-Surber, who owns a medical practice in the nearby LaSur building, and Amanda Williams, property manager for 22670 Summit Drive, told the planning board that they’ve seen numerous minor accidents on a road leading to Samaritan Summit Village.

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Samaritan announces mask-optional policy for most facilities

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WATERTOWN — Samaritan Health announced Friday that the majority of its facilities will now be mask-optional for all staff, patients, and visitors under certain criteria.

The operators of Samaritan Medical Center and multiple clinics said in a statement that the decision comes after closely watching Community Transmission levels of COVID-19, which remain at moderate, declining COVID hospitalization and infection rates, and dropping flu rates, as well as more indicators.

Samaritan says it now safely offers a mask-optional environment in many areas; however, if any of these metrics have an uptick, it could return to requiring facemasks.

The three major exceptions that will remain mask-required for all staff, patients/residents and visitors are:

■ The Emergency Department, because of the high-risk involved with the patients needing care and maintaining crucial source control.

■ The Walker Center for Cancer Care, because of the weakened immune systems of the patients served.

■ The Samaritan Keep Home and Summit Village, because they are regulated under different guidelines.

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Medical center eyed for Washington Summit complex

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WATERTOWN — Developer Michael E. Lundy plans to build a nearly 30,000-square-foot medical center at Washington Summit, the medical complex that he owns on outer Washington Street in the town of Watertown.

The $10 million to $12 million facility would house a large common lobby that has access to an array of small clinics that offer hearing, eyesight, mental health and other medical services to its patients.

His company, The Lundy Group, would own the building and lease it to an unidentified tenant.

An existing tenant at Washington Summit approached Mr. Lundy, managing partner in Washington Summit Associates, with the proposal to build the medical center.

The facility would be situated on the second level of the sprawling complex between the Samaritan Summit Village nursing home at the top of the hill and the building that houses the new AAA offices in the former CANI building at the bottom of the complex.

The one-story building would be built into a hill and feature “a terraced concept” incorporating two large retaining walls on the 6-acre site.

“It’s really a nice project,” Mr. Lundy said. “This fits in with everything we’re doing up there.”

Pamela D. Desormo, the town planning board’s co-chair, said the developer made a preliminary presentation about the project at Wednesday’s town planning board meeting. He plans to come back next month to give a formal presentation about the project’s site plan.

The tenant needs to receive final approval from its governing body before making a formal announcement in October about the project, Mr. Lundy said.

The project is currently in the pre-design stage with MBL Engineering, Mannsville, working on the engineering drawings.

Design Build Innovations, the construction company that Mr. Lundy owns with Sackets Harbor businessman Corry J. Lawler, will be the general contractor on the project.

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