Oneida County will be distributing free COVID-19 test kits to residents this weekend.

The kits will be handed out at the Department of Public Works garage locations in Barneveld, Oriskany and Taberg.

“Aside from vaccinations, testing is our best weapon against the spread of COVID-19,” said County Executive Anthony Picente. “Oneida County is increasing its testing capacity by conducting free weekly PCR testing at Griffiss International Airport and by distributing free rapid home tests. These home test kits are a useful tool in helping to identify positive cases and in ensuring that those individuals don’t further the spread of this virus.”

The free kits will be given out from 9:00 to noon on Saturday in a drive-thru format, one per person, while supplies last.

About 3,000 test kits are expected to be distributed on Saturday.

Oneida County received 10,000 kits from New York State which it has been distributing by request to local municipalities.

The county has also given test kits to The Center in Utica for distribution to the refugee population it serves.

Health officials say if you do test positive on a home kit, you should isolate immediately and then confirm the result by scheduling a PCR test.

More public test kit distributions events will be announced in the near future.

Meanwhile,Oneida County is reporting 674 new positive cases of COVID-19 and no new COVID-related deaths.

The county has seen its positivity rate climb to 15.5 percent.

There are now 4,850 active positive cases in the county, while 62 residents are in the hospital.

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