TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department has announced its distribution of the previously announced 4,600 self-test kits provided by New York State.

The health department said it intends these 4,600 tests to be prioritized for “those with limited access to store-bought test kits.” The list of organizations receiving tests:

  • Town of Enfield
  • Town of Danby
  • Town of Caroline
  • Tompkins County Public Library (announced distribution will take place Feb. 1 and 3 from 9-11 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.)
  • Southworth Library, Dryden
  • Lansing Public Library
  • Ulysses Philomathic Library, Trumansburg
  • Newfield Public Library
  • Groton Public Library
  • Groton Food Pantry
  • Loaves and Fishes
  • Additional food pantries supported by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier

Presumably, those entities will announce distribution plans in the coming days.

For those with sufficient access to store-bought tests, they are more readily available now then in prior weeks at local stores and pharmacies, and no prescription is needed.

From the health department, regarding testing procedure:

  • Plan: Consider testing before gathering with others or attending an event, on or after travel. Both help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Prep: Wash hands well and clean surfaces. Read all the instructions completely.
  • Test: Take the test exactly as directed. Use a timer to be accurate.
    • If positive, isolate and report your test to TCHD using the online reporting form. If you do not have internet, call 2-1-1 (1.877.211.8667) during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm, for assistance in reporting your test result. Once submitted, you will receive isolation instructions and a documentation letter.

Additional test kits have also continued to be periodically delivered by the State to schools and distributed directly to families by BOCES and local districts.

“Our goal is to ensure that these self-test kits are available throughout our County to those who otherwise might not be able to access or purchase one,” said Deputy Tompkins County Administrator Amie Hendrix. “If you need a test kit, please contact your local library, town, or food bank. Thank you to our community partners for assistance distributing these tests.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com