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> COVID19 Cayuga Health Sampling Site


2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Cayuga Health Sampling Site for Tompkins County Residents

Sampling Site Information 
  • Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:00 PM
  • Appointment Required: Register at or call 607-319-5708.
  • Cost: No cost for Tompkins County residents. Non-residents who do not meet the testing criteria may be charged a fee. 
  • Location: Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd., Ithaca. (Open Google map)

As part of our community’s effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Tompkins County, the Cayuga Health Sampling Site was opened on March 24, 2020, at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd. As of September 1, 2020, testing is available and covered for all Tompkins County residents. Funds to cover expanded testing are provided by the Tompkins County Legislature. Register for an appointment online at or call 607-319-5708.

Who can get tested?

The Cayuga Health Sampling Center provides testing at no cost to the individual who meets one of the following criteria:

  • Individual has developed symptoms related to COVID-19
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Congestion or runny nose or sore throat
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Individual has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • The individual’s employer, school, or other organization has a testing program through Cayuga Health 
  • Individual is an essential worker
  • Individual is a Tompkins County resident 
  • Individual has an upcoming procedure at Cayuga Medical Center

To learn more about testing for COVID-19, please call your health care provider directly or the Cayuga Health COVID-19 Sampling Line at 607-319-5708.

Source: Cayuga Health Testing Criteria

Additional information about testing criteria is on the NYS Department of Health website, or on the CDC website.

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Do I need an appointment?

Yes, effective August 5, 2020, an appointment is required to get tested at the COVID-19 Mass Sampling Center. Register online here, or call

What should I expect?

At the testing site:

  • Remain in your car, and wait to be directed by Sampling Center staff. You may tune your radio to 96.3 FM for information and instructions.
  • At the first stop, a staff member will use a tablet to pull up your registration, and review the information you provided when you registered. Please have your I.D. ready to show.
  • You will then be directed to the sampling area, where a medical professional will use a swab to take a nasal sample.
  • You will be given instructions about mandatory home isolation, and you must go straight home.
What happens while I wait for results?
  • If you got tested because you are experiencing any symptoms noted above (you are symptomatic)
    • You must return home without any stops. You must remain stay separated from all others in your household, including children. Read more about mandatory isolation here.
    • A medical practitioner from Cayuga Health will call you to check-in and make sure you understand and are maintaining separation from others. They will also ask if you have any new symptoms, or are in need of medical treatment, and if have what you'll need during your isolation period.
    • Results can take up to one week. You must remain in isolation until you receive your test results.
    • Only in the case of an emergency, call 911
  • If you got tested due to a TCHD request (close contact with a known case of COVID-19), or recommendation (present in a public setting identified in a TCHD Health Alert)
    • You should self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of the exposure. Do not leave your home or have visitors. Do not share personal items. Wash hands often and maintain 6 feet of distance from other household members. Sleep in a separate room or area.
    • Monitor your health for possible COVID-19 symptoms. If you develop any symptoms, get tested again.
  • If you got tested at the request of your employer, as an essential worker, or by personal choice, and you are asymptomatic
    • You do not need to go into quarantine or isolation
    • Continue to practice all prevention measures, including wearing a face covering when in a public place, maintain 6 feet distance from others, avoid crowds and tight areas.
How will I get my result?
  • You will be called at the phone number you provided when you registered. If your test result is negative, a staff person from Cayuga Health will make the call and provide the test result.
  • If the test result is positive, you will be called by a public health nurse from the Tompkins County Health Department. They will provide instructions and will conduct a thorough contact investigation.
  • You may be released from isolation following a negative test result and once you do not have symptoms for at least 24 hours.
  • If you have a Patient Portal Login you may sign in to get your results at
What if I don't have transportation?
  • After you have registered, call 2-1-1 for assistance. 2-1-1 is available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. to help with transportation options  to the Sampling Site.
  • 2-1-1 is arranging free transportation for individuals with symptoms, or known exposure to positive cases. Other transportation options will have varying fees. 

How do I register?


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