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COVID-19: As Number Of Cases Rise, Putnam Asks For Testing Site

County Executive MaryEllen Odell
County Executive MaryEllen Odell Photo Credit: File

With the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) rising, Putnam County government officials have requested that the state health department establish a COVID-19 testing site in Putnam County.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said the lack of a state-run testing site within our county is putting healthcare workers, first responders and residents at great risk.

“We need our own testing site so we can be sure of the accuracy of the results,” Odell said. “Secondhand information can be unreliable. Our first responders and health care workers need all the accurate information possible to protect themselves and our communities.”

In addition, the Putnam County Health Department is out of test kits and symptomatic residents must now travel to Westchester County, Dutchess County, Bear Mountain State Park or Danbury, to get testing, Odell said.

Putnam County Commissioner of Health Dr. Michael Nesheiwat said the information on positive test results they receive from out of county sites is often woefully incomplete.

Every testing site location is providing information in a different format, it is not standardized. Much of the patient information is incomplete and numbers per municipality are skewed because zip codes overlap municipalities in Putnam, he said.

“Sometimes a positive test report contains too little information to track a case,” Nesheiwat said. “We can’t operate in the dark. We need full, complete information to best protect the health and safety of our residents.”

Putnam received an additional 16 positive tests on Thursday, March 26, bringing the county’s total positive cases to 109.

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