COVID-19 testing ramping up, officials announce local sites

A laboratory test for COVID-19 at the New York State Department of Health.

OSWEGO — The Oswego County Health Department has announced the locations of local COVID-19 testing sites, but cautioned that testing availability is based on available supplies and lab capacity.

Oswego County, along with the rest of central New York, last week got the green light for "phase one" of the state's plan to ease restrictions on coronavirus policies. In phase one, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, manufacturing and wholesale trade businesses are allowed to re-open and retail stores can provide curbside or in-store pickup or drop-off.

Part of the qualification criteria for phase one relates to increasing testing capacity, and local officials say they are doing their part to make the tests as available as possible.

“The Oswego County Health Department is experiencing the same problems receiving testing supplies and lab capacity that many of our health care partners are experiencing,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “The situation changes daily. We advise anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to talk with their health care provider or call the Oswego County Health Department hotline. If they have questions about testing, they should contact their health care provider for advice.”

The county health department last week conducted a one-day test site for essential workers at the Oswego County Highway Garage, where approximately 150 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. PCR tests are used to determine if a person has an active case of COVID-19, not whether they have built up antibodies, officials said. People may be carrying the coronavirus and not show symptoms.

The following is a list of Oswego County COVID-19 testing sites, provided by the Oswego County Health Department:

WellNow Urgent Care, 200 E. 1st St., Oswego, is conducting PCR and antibody testing for symptomatic people and asymptomatic essential workers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. People are asked to scan a QR code posted on the front of the building to register and a staff person will come out to their car to complete registration and triage before testing. For more information, call 315-207-7391 or go to www.wellnow.com/oswego.

The Oswego Hospital, 110 W. 6th St., Oswego, conducts PCR testing for symptomatic people from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. People are asked to call 315-349-3330 for an appointment.

Pulaski Urgent Care, 3858 state Route 13, Pulaski, conducts PCR and antibody testing for both symptomatic and non-symptomatic people from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. People must be seen by a staff health care provider and they are strongly encouraged to call ahead at 315-298-2273 before they arrive for testing.

ConnextCare clinics are conducting PCR testing on their patients only. Patients are asked to call their regular health care provider for more information.

Essential workers who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 may also visit a New York State testing site. The closest state testing sites are Griffiss International Airport in Rome, Binghamton University in Binghamton and Monroe County Community College in Rochester. To make an appointment at one of these state testing sites, call the state COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/. There is an online screening test to determine who meets the state’s criteria for coronavirus testing.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services has opened a drive-up test site in the Walmart parking lot, 6438 Basile Rowe, Dewitt from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. To find out if you qualify for testing, go to https://myquest.questdiagnostics.com/web/mycovid19test.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should call the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 to schedule testing.

People with questions about the coronavirus can call the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 or go to the Health Department’s website at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or the county’s main website at oswegocounty.com for the latest news releases, daily updates and video presentations.

For emotional support resources, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.

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