Katherine Taylor / The New York Times

Testing results are now available same day, thanks to Ithaca-based Rheonix Inc.

April 27, 2020

Tompkins County Expands COVID-19 Testing to Essential Workers

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Tompkins County has expanded COVID-19 testing to essential workers, following an April 25 executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), which expanded testing to essential workers statewide.

Previously, COVID-19 testing was only available to those who present symptoms, or to those who had recently been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

The majority of coronavirus testing currently takes place at the Cayuga Heights Sampling Site, located at The Shops at the Ithaca Mall. The sampling site can test up to 1,000 patients per day.

Along with New York State, Tompkins County appears to be meeting the demand of testing, and the expansion to essential workers is “a direct result of rapidly increasing diagnostic testing capacity,” the state’s website read.

The Tompkins County Health Department released an official update on April 26 that “all first responders, health care workers and essential employees” can be tested for COVID-19, “even if they aren’t symptomatic.”

“As many essential workers are still interacting directly with the public, increased testing is vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said Public Health Director Frank Kruppa.

“Essential workers have been on the front line responding to this crisis, I want to thank all of [them],” he said in the press release.

The update also cited an official New York State list that defined who constitutes an essential worker, but maintained that, regardless of essential worker status, those who are symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 still have access to testing.

Tests continue to take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, at the Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd. Pre-registering is available through Cayuga Health’s website or the Call Center (607-319-5708) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.