Ashley He / Sun Staff Photographer

Local health officials of announced the opening of a new facility to test residents for COVID-19 in light of increased demand for screening.

March 23, 2020

Tompkins County Opens New COVID-19 Testing Center to Replace Drive-Through Location

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Testing close to 600 people, Tompkins County has gone from reporting no confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 16 in less than a week.

In order to accommodate the drastic local uptick in demand for virus testing, the county will open a new, expanded sampling location in Ithaca.

The sampling center is located in the parking lot of the Shops at Ithaca Mall and will be open starting Tuesday, March 24, after which the center will be open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The new testing facility replaces the drive-through testing facility north of Cornell’s campus.

“This new sampling center is another way for us to do our part to flatten the curve, get people tested, and keep our community safe,” wrote Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County public health director.

The center is intended only for those that have experienced symptoms of the coronavirus — fever, cough, shortness of breath or body aches — and those that have been in the same room as someone that has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

Those that meet the listed criteria are encouraged to preregister for their test at Cayuga Health’s website.

At the testing site, residents will be directed by a combination of signs at the testing center and instructions made available via radio at FM 96.3. Following testing, individuals are mandated to enter home isolation as they await test results, which will take approximately a week.

251 tests are currently pending.