Sign of the times

Lake Placid signs tell story of closures amid New York’s coronavirus precautions

News photo — Andy Flynn These signs at Big Mountain Deli & Creperie on Main Street are seen Wednesday, March 18. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — Signs going up this week at businesses, schools, tourist attractions, churches and government offices in this village help tell the story about the shutdown of these places due to concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In order to prevent people from getting COVID-19, the state government has issued strict guidelines of which businesses need to close or alter their services and which businesses can remain open. For example, restaurants can only offer takeout services.

All schools in New York were forced to close, even after the local ones decided to close on their own for at least a month, transitioning to distance learning.

Other places decided on their own, or through a directive from their main offices, that they need to shut their doors to the public, even though there may be employees still working inside. Some businesses have sent employees home to work, if possible.

Yet other businesses — most retail shops, for example — remain open … as of this writing. Below are some samples of signs around Lake Placid, as seen at 8 a.m. March 18.

Sign at the Lake Placid Public Library (News photo — Andy Flynn)

Palace Theatre

Upon the directive from the governor, taking effect at 8 p.m. Monday, March 16, all theaters in the state were to close. The Palace Theatre posted the following on its marquee that afternoon:

“Temporarily closed. We are sorry! Be safe.”

Sign at Lake Placid Center for the Arts Wednesday, March 18 (News photo — Andy Flynn)

St. Agnes Catholic Church

The Rev. John Yonkovig posted the following paper sign on the front door of the St. Agnes Catholic Church on Tuesday, March 17:

“It is with deep regret that I share the directive of Bishop LaValley that ‘all Masses in the Diocese of Ogdensburg beginning Wednesday, March 18 are suspended until further notice.’ All the faithful are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to participate in Mass.

“St. Agnes Church will be open for private prayer from early morning to late afternoon.”

Bishop Terry R. LaValley made the announcement in a press release on Tuesday. St. Agnes held its St. Patrick’s Day Mass at 5:30 p.m.

There were no messages welcoming visitors to Lake Placid on the sign in front of the Olympic Center early in the morning of Wednesday, March 18. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

“We continue to monitor this situation, and we will provide further guidance when and if it becomes necessary. Please keep each other, our clergy and all impacted by this pandemic, including patients, as well as medical professionals, emergency responders, researchers and policy makers, in your prayers during this difficult time,” LaValley said in the release.

St. Agnes School

The roadside sign between the St. Agnes School and Saranac Avenue had a simple, three-line message:

“Wash your hands.

Sign at the St. Agnes School (News photo — Andy Flynn)

“Flex your brain.

“Get some sunshine.”

Olympic Center

There were two signs of note at the Olympic Center on Main Street.

The marquee is seen here at the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid on Monday, March 16. (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

The paper sign on the glass doors read:

“In the interest of the health and safety of our visitors and staff of the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) managed ski areas and all its venues suspended operation at the close of business Sunday, March 15, 2020.

“Closures include the Olympic Center, the Conference Center at Lake Placid, the Olympic Museum, the Olympic Center Retail Shop and the Olympic Oval.

“Additionally, the Lake Placid Olympic sites’ Olympic Jumping Complex and Olympic Sports Complex will be closing along with all Nordic and Alpine ski resorts; Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort, Gore Mountain and Whiteface Mountain.

“Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as this situation continues to evolve.”

The other sign of note is the electronic one in between the 1932 Arena and Main Street. It usually gives updates about upcoming community events and promotes ORDA’s venues with colorful displays. First thing Wednesday morning, it was dark. There were no messages welcoming visitors to Lake Placid.

North Elba Town Hall

On Tuesday, March 17, a new paper sign was taped to the front glass doors of the North Elba Town Hall on Main Street:

“To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the town hall will be closed to walk-in traffic effective March 18, 2020.

“Departments will be available by phone to help you with your needs.”

The sign listed phone numbers for the town and village departments: town of North Elba, 518-523-9516; town court, 518-523-2141; village of Lake Placid, 518-523-2597; village court, 518-523-2004; and Lake Placid Police Department, 518-523-3306.

Additionally, the sign said that payments may be made by mail at 2693 Main St., Lake Placid, NY 12946.

And as of March 18, recycling services at the transfer station were being canceled; however, all other services are open and operational.

“We appreciate you(r) understanding of this inconvenience.”

LPCA, Gallery 46

The big Lake Placid Center for the Arts sign on Algonquin Avenue that regularly promotes upcoming events had the following message:

“March events postponed.

“Galleries closed.

“Visit lakeplacidarts.org for more.

“Gallery Juried Show Feb. 27 – April 11.”

The LPCA’s Gallery 46 at the Alpine Mall on Main Street had a sign in the window:

“Gallery 46 will be temporarily closed to lessen the risk for all of our art-loving community members. We hope to open with regular hours as soon as recommended by the CDC and the New York State government.

“In the meantime, private appointments to view the art are available! Call Gallery Director Jon Donk at 518-523-2512, ext. 2000.”


As of 8 p.m. Monday, March 16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said all restaurants needed to close for dine-in service. They could, however, be open for takeout services, and some eateries are doing just that. Below is just a sample of the signs informing the public about the new regulations.

Soulshine Bagel on Main Street, for example, had a simple paper sign on its front door, reading: “Will be open regular hours for take out only. Thank you.”

And Big Mountain Deli & Creperie had several “TAKE OUT ONLY” signs on the windows with another sign:

“We are OPEN and operating according to the NYS regulations. Take out is available and encouraged!

“We would like to assure all of our customers that we are going above and beyond to provide a safe environment for our community.

“Thank you in advance on behalf of our Big Mountain Deli family.

“Check out our menu at eatlakeplacid.com.”

Lake Placid Public Library

The Lake Placid Public Library had two signs of note regarding its closure, which was announced on Sunday, March 15.

The sign taped to the front door reads: “Closed. Due to concerns and precautions surrounding the Covid-19 Virus, the library will be closed until further notice. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

The other sign was taped to the wooden return bin: “Please, no returns for the time being. There will be no fines or overdue notices. Thank you!”