Want to be tested? Make an appointment for drive-through

GREENPORT—The first of a series of Covid-19 testing clinics will be conducted starting Friday, May 8. This clinic will take place by appointment only and is being held at Columbia-Greene Community College as a drive-through event done by the Columbia County Department of Health (CCDOH) in partnership with Columbia Memorial Health.

“Our staff receives calls every day from people who want to be tested for the virus, but due to limited availability of obtaining testing kits it has not been possible,” Director of Public Health Jack Mabb said in a May 3 press release.

“As a result of the incredible generosity of several private donors we’ve been successful in securing the purchase of 2,000 kits. It was amazing that in a few days after discussing buying the kits we received the donations and were able to move ahead with the purchase of the kits. To date, the county has received 1,000 kits with the additional 1,000 kits expected in the coming weeks,” Director Mabb said in the release.

Many of these kits have been provided to nursing homes, CMH rapid care, and first responders for employee testing. One hundred of the kits will be used May 8 for community testing with the intention to do more community testing in the coming weeks.

Given that Columbia County has a population of 63,000 residents, the 2,000 kits represent only a small part of that number that’s why Director Mabb says they want to prioritize individuals who have symptoms.

Priority for testing will be given to individuals meeting the following criteria: fever, cough, trouble breathing, loss of taste or smell and/or any symptoms consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Residents that meet criteria for testing are asked to fill out the online screening form at https://forms.gle/afxfrFaDkrV7m1DF6. Once completed, the form will be evaluated by CCDOH staff and residents will be prioritized for testing. CCDOH staff will call residents who qualify for testing and will provide them with their appointment time and pin number. Pin number and a form of identification should be brought with them to the testing site. Residents being tested will stay in their vehicle at all times. Two registrants per car will be permitted.

After leaving the test site, residents should drive directly home for mandatory quarantine until results are shared with them. The 100 people tested should plan to self-quarantine for up to 14 days and will receive self-quarantine guidelines at the collection site.

It may take a few days to receive the test results. Everyone who gets tested at the site will receive their results once they are processed by Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany.

Law enforcement will be on-site along with two clinicians from Columbia Memorial Hospital and EMS services.

The testing site is at Columbia-Greene Community College, 4400 State Route 23. The site will open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment only. There will be signs and law enforcement managing and directing traffic flow. Anyone coming to the site without an appointment will be directed to leave the parking lot immediately.

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