To Reopen, MV Needs More Testing, Testing, Testing: OGS Commissioner Destito
''I want to make sure this test site is used and we get to where we need to be.''
Standing outside a hangar at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome where a drive-thru diagnostic COVID-19 testing is occurring, New York State Office of General Serivices Commissioner Roann Destito said as a lifelong Mohawk Valley resident, she wanted to personally deliver that message to CNY residents.
''If we want to get to the next level, we need more testing,'' Destito said.
The OGS Commissioner noted that our region currently met 6 of 7 critieria in order to go to a phase-one reopening on May 15. The one criteria the Mohawk Valley isn't up to par on is overall testing, she said.
Officials say to meet that criteria, tests need to be conducted at a ratio of thirty (30) per one-thousand residents.
Since opening on Monday, the drive thru site at Griffiss Park had tested about 600 residents, Destito said. That total of 600 does not account for diagnostic testing occurring at other locations in the region.
Who can get a test?
Anyone is eligible. ALL employees who have been deemed 'essential' (everyone from nurses and doctors to grocery store workers and gas station attendants) can get a test. Residents outside of Oneida County can be tested at Griffiss. People from Lewis, Hekimer and Madison counties, among others, are all eligible, Destito said.
If you are not an 'essential employee', it is possible to still get a test. However, when you call the NYS Department of Health (or visit their website) to schedule an appointment, those non-essential workers would need to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for an appointment. That could include:
- direct contact with a person who is know to have COVID-19
- having certain underlying health issues
Can I Just Show Up?
While a prescription is NOT needed for diagnostic COVID-19 testing at Griffiss Park in Rome, you DO need an appointment.
How Do I Make An Appointment?
Call the NYS Department of Health at 1-888-364-3065. Or, you can schedule an appointment online at coronavirus.health.ny.gov
What Can I Expect When I Get Tested?
Those who are tested at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome should expect:
- Short wait times. You must have an appointment to be tested. This is required to prevent long lines and logjams, officials said
- Stay in your vehicle. Personnel will be able to obtain a sample from you without you having to step out of the vehicle.
The site at Griffiss is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Destito said she was pround of the region and proud of New York State for efforts by the public to comply with restrictions, distancing and mask wearing. She also specifically commended Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying New York State had done more COVID-19 testing per capita than any other place in the world.