Opinion: County COVID Testing Can’t Come Soon Enough
Testing for COVID-19 in Oneida County can't come soon enough. It's not easy to get a test right now and you have to wonder how there could be a nation-wide shortage after all we've been through.
During the holiday, my family was one of the many searching for rapid home tests and they were nowhere to be found. Pharmacy employees told me, "as soon as we get them in, we immediately sell-out for the week." Furthermore, finding a location that safely administers COVID tests in the area was a difficult task, as well, especially around Christmas and New Year's Day.
On Monday, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced that Oneida County will once again hold drive-thru testing at the Griffiss International Airport on Wednesday, from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., but you'll need an appointment. To schedule an appointment visit the county's website here.
If we're going to get past this horrible COVID cycle, it has to be easy for people in the area and around the state to get a test, and doing it from a car seems to be the safest way.
Last weekend when my family was looking for a testing location, most were closed because of the holiday and the one place we found was packed inside with people waiting. We figured, if we didn't actually have the virus, after standing in the crowded waiting room with a large group of symptomatic people, a mask was certainly not going to prevent the spread.
I also understand there are plenty of places giving COVID tests that we probably were unaware of. That, in itself is a problem. I consider myself someone who is pretty aware of what's going on in this community and if I'm struggling to find a safe and easy testing site, imagine what it's like for someone who doesn't work in communications. Additionally, many of the places that we found which were offering tests last weekend were already booked up.
We did finally find a testing site and while it was awesome to learn that they no longer have to stick the swab way up into a person's nasal cavity, their lab was shut down because of an employee shortage and the sample had to be sent out to Syracuse. We took the test on Saturday, and as of publication time (Monday night at 9:15) we still didn't have our results.
Wait, let me check my phone to see if the results are in...nope. I'll be going to bed for the third straight night wondering if my symptoms are COVID. This is not how we're going to defeat this virus.
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