Ithaca's drive through testing site rests in a driveway outside a building that was formerly Women’s Health of CMA.

Courtesy of Cayuga Medical Center

Ithaca's drive through testing site rests in a driveway outside a building that was formerly Women’s Health of CMA.

March 18, 2020

Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Opens in Ithaca

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With Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) pledge to rapidly expand COVID-19 testing in New York State, drive-through sites have sprung up statewide, including one now operating in Ithaca.

The testing location, North of Cornell’s campus, commenced operations on Monday, is operated by Cayuga Medical Center through Cayuga Medical Associates. The site, dotted by blue and white tents with healthcare workers in plastic gowns, is a one-car driveway outside a building that was formerly Women’s Health of CMA.

In order to be tested at the site, patients must first have a referral from a primary care doctor. This differs from some other drive-through testing sites in the state. On Long Island, a drive-through site at Jones Beach –– which opened on Tuesday –– requires only an appointment, not a referral, Newsday reported.

In New Rochelle –– the epicenter of New York’s COVID-19 outbreak–– a drive-through testing site, which requires a referral from a doctor, opened on Friday and tested 1,882 people within its first four days of operation.

On Monday, Ithaca’s site tested around 70 people, Dr. Doug MacQueen, an Infectious Disease specialist at the Cayuga Center for Infectious Disease, told the Ithaca Voice.

MacQueen also shared that those tested –– via nasal swab –– should expect results within two to three days as the New York State Health Department lab — where the samples are run — is currently backlogged.

The Ithaca site is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1020 Craft Road.

The testing site's exit, flanked by a Tompkins County Sheriff's Department Car.

Adrienne Smith / WSYR NewsChannel 9

The testing site’s exit, flanked by a Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department Car.