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Expanded, Community-Wide COVID-19 Testing Available for Tompkins County Residents

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Expanded, Community-Wide COVID-19 Testing Available for Tompkins County Residents

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tompkins County is announcing the expansion of community-wide COVID-19 testing availability in partnership with Cayuga Health System (CHS). Testing will be available and covered for all Tompkins County residents through the Cayuga Health System Sampling Site starting September 1. Meeting of previous criteria for testing is no longer required for County residents, with medically necessary testing covered by insurance providers. In their August 18 meeting, the Tompkins County Legislature unanimously approved the use of contingent funds to support ongoing testing efforts.

Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino stated, “Cayuga Health System stepped up early and offered testing when it wasn’t widely available across the state and country. Their team was focused on offering testing to identify positives and help get people into isolation and quarantine. CHS’s collaboration with our Health Department and Emergency Operations Center has been consistent and continues to greatly benefit the community. This is a significant investment from our Legislature and community to help keep the disease from spreading here and to keep our community healthy.”

The Tompkins County Health Department is encouraging any Tompkins County residents who want to be tested to seek a test through the CHS Sampling Site. Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “This is about access — widespread testing availability allows us to be thorough and diligent with our contact investigations. We all share a responsibility to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. If a Tompkins County resident is concerned, they should seek a test.”

County Legislature Chairwoman Leslyn McBean-Clairborne stated, “The Legislature is pleased to be able to support this ongoing testing. With this investment, our community, regardless of income ability and insurance coverage, will continue to have wide-scale access to a critical tool in stopping the spread. We were able to make this choice in part because of Cayuga Health System’s rapid response and ongoing commitment to the health and safety of Tompkins County.”
 
Dr. Marty Stallone, CEO of Cayuga Health, said, “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Cayuga Health has teamed up with Tompkins County leadership to formulate our community’s robust response to the virus. Our collaborative work led to one of the first mass sampling sites in New York State to open in mid-March. The Tompkins County Health Department has done an outstanding job leading the tracing and tracking of the virus in the community, which has helped keep the incidence of COVID-19 low. We are very appreciative of the Tompkins County Legislature’s decision to expand coverage for all residents by supporting needed funding. This will continue to keep us safe by allowing more people to be tested.”

Many local businesses and organizations have implemented COVID-19 testing programs for employees and will continue to contract directly with CHS. They can email Tracy Gates, Chief Operating Officer, at tgates@cayugamed.org. Non-Tompkins County residents must continue to meet the COVID-19 testing requirements listed on cayugahealth.org. Tompkins County residents who are symptomatic or concerned about exposure should seek testing now, at no cost. Appointments can be made online at cayugahealth.org or through the call center at 607-319-5708. Once registered, individuals who need transportation options and assistance to the testing site can call 2-1-1.

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