UTICA, NY - Oneida County and New York State tested roughly 450 people from the 13501 zip code, in Utica, at Union Station Monday through Wednesday of this week. They only have preliminary results from the targeted testing, but they're encouraging.
"We don't have any results except for Monday's, I believe we had five positives on Monday's test list of 100-something tests done, so that was also good," said Phyllis Ellis, Oneida County Director of Public Health.
When the pandemic struck in March, Oneida County was coming out of flu season. Now, we're going into flu season, and with COVID-19 numbers far worse than they've been throughout the pandemic.
"We're gonna sprinkle the flu season on in the middle of this, we're doing that right now, and some people have already tested positive for flu and covid, so it's dangerous," said Ellis. She said there were four or five flu cases in the county last week. On just Tuesday and Wednesday, there were 346 new COVID cases.
"We're all kind of worried about the holiday and the long weekend, and we'll see that in a couple weeks, the outcome of that," said Ellis.
Between the high number of cases, increased exposure and holiday travel, test sites have been slammed. An option some might not know about: Precision Clinical Laboratories on Seneca Turnpike in Clinton.
"Our staff that are inside will come out to you with your paperwork. And once you fill out your paperwork, they'll bring you out your test. You actually do the test in your car, so you never actually go into the building, you never leave your car," said Lead Scientist and Lab Manager, Linnea Ritche. "99.8% accurate, which is one of the highest on the market today."
Ritchie says insurance covers most tests. They've recently started taking drive-ups, no appointment, to alleviate the local demand for testing. They say results are available within 24 hours.