Health Department announces COVID testing site schedule for the holidays

This is a community announcement from the Tompkins County Health Department. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit Community Announcements, please send them to Matt Butler at [email protected]

The Tompkins County Health Department is reminding the community of public health measures to practice for safe holiday gatherings, along with important updates regarding Cayuga Health System sampling site hours.

Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said, “The Tompkins County Health Department wants to wish everyone in our community a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We appreciate the steps you take every day to protect yourself, your family and your community.” We appreciate you. We hope you enjoy the holiday safely and consider the following measures when making plans to gather with others.

Test for COVID-19

The Cayuga Health mass sampling site for COVID-19 PCR testing at The Shops at Ithaca Mall (40 Catherwood Road) will close at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 23, to allow results to be processed before the holiday.

The site will be down for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24. Sampling sites will reopen normal times Friday, November 25, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm and Sunday, November 27, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. , meeting www.CayugaHealth.org To schedule your appointment or call the Call Center: 607-319-5708. Please note that the call center and Brown Road’s COVID-19 lab will also be closed on Thursday, November 24, in celebration of Thanksgiving Day.

COVID-19 Self-Test It is recommended for individuals who do not have symptoms and want quick results to identify infection or increase confidence that you are not positive for COVID-19.

Self-testing can be used as a preventive measure before gathering indoors with people who are not in your household. This is especially important before gathering with individuals who are unvaccinated, older individuals, those who are immunocompromised, or individuals at higher risk of severe illness.

COVID-19 self-tests are available In the community, free of charge, at distribution locations such as municipal centers and public libraries. Please contact your nearest location prior to ordering test kits to determine availability. The FDA has extended the shelf-life of these tests; Please check the stock number of your test kit online To set a new expiration date for the kit.

If you test positive with the self-test kit, you should separate immediately For 5 days from the date of positive test result or onset of symptoms, whichever is earlier. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days after isolation. complete self-test reporting form For Tompkins County residents. The online form will ask for basic contact information and upload a photo of your test kit result. Follow-up PCR testing is not necessary. Once you receive a positive test result, regardless of the type of test, you are considered a positive case and should be isolated from others.

Get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19

Vaccination against flu and COVID-19 are essential steps that can help prevent the spread of disease as well as reduce the severity of disease if you do become ill.

Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines are available at many places throughout our community, including healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, and clinics. Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated everyone year against flu Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated against COVID-19, and everyone 5 years and older can now receive an updated bivalent booster dose.

To get the flu or COVID-19 vaccine, call your primary care provider or make a schedule at a local pharmacy. you can also use vaccine finder To find a location near you.

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover the cost of an annual flu vaccination (COVID-19 vaccines remain free). If you do not have insurance or your insurance is not accepted, you can make an appointment at the Department of Health vaccination clinic, is open to adults ages 18+ who are uninsured or underinsured, and children under 17 who are uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid recipients, or Child Health Plus recipients. Call 607-274-6604 to make an appointment with our vaccination clinic.

If you would like to learn more about health insurance options, dial 211 to speak with a Health Insurance Navigator or make an appointment online,

stay home when sick

Staying home when you feel unwell helps prevent spreading the infection to others. In the days leading up to the holiday gathering, monitor your health for symptoms. symptoms of fever, COVID-19and other communicable diseases such as rsv And this common cold share many similarities and all are highly contagious.

If you or others in your household are sick, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently and avoid touching your face. Limit contact with people who are symptomatic or who have tested positive for COVID-19 and wear a high quality mask When contact cannot be avoided.

Call your healthcare provider if you or your child is having difficulty breathing, is not drinking enough fluids, or is experiencing worsening symptoms. Some people, especially older adults and infants under 6 months of age, may need to be hospitalized and receive oxygen if they are having trouble breathing or if they become dehydrated.

The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthier community. Find us online at TompkinsCountyNY.gov/health, and follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TompkinsPublicHealth and on Twitter at . @TompkinsHealth, Sign up to receive Health Department updates or other county announcements via email or text.

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