SCHENECTADY — Testing may be expanded in Schenectady as early as next week as the county works with Ellis Medicine to fine tune a rollout.
“We’re very close to rolling out multiple test locations in Schenectady,” said county Manager Rory Fluman on Thursday. “We’re ready to go with test sites, but we haven’t had test kits to make these happen.”
Fluman didn’t disclose the locations, nor did city Mayor Gary McCarthy, who said he’s been in contact with county officials.
Ellis Medicine, which suspended diagnostic testing in mid-March, resumed limited testing on Thursday at the McClellan Street Health Center as part of a soft launch ahead of the wider rollout.
“With new testing materials coming in on a regular basis, we’re working with the county to make it happen,” said Ellis spokesman Philip Schwartz.
Testing will resume Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., with the final walk-in accepted at 4:30 p.m.
Ellis, which tested roughly 30 people on Thursday, aims to use the soft launch to refine the process ahead of next week’s expanded rollout, including minimizing wait times.
“We want to bring it to neighborhoods throughout the city,” said Ellis spokesperson Philip Schwartz. “We want to perfect the process before running a wide net.”
Due to ongoing nationwide shortages, only those currently showing symptoms will be issued a test.
Those seeking to determine their eligibility are asked to call Ellis’ COVID-19 hotline at 518-831-7070.
The nationwide lack of testing has led to an unclear picture of the virus’ spread in each community.
Statewide, an estimated 13.9 percent of New Yorkers have likely had the virus, or about 2.7 million people, according to antibody testing results released Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The state surveyed 3,000 people at grocery stores in 40 localities in 19 counties for two days this week, including Albany and Schenectady.
Cuomo warned the number may be artificially high because the survey captured people who were out and about during the day, not those in self-isolation who perhaps have a lower infection rate.
“The sample was, by definition, people who were outside the home, so we have to analyze that,” Cuomo said. “What does that do to the numbers? That is a factor that has to be taken into consideration.”
New York City accounted for 43 percent of the survey and 21.2 percent of the positive tests.
Outside of Long Island and the New York City-metro area, upstate accounted for 32.8 percent and 3.6 percent of the positive results.
The virus has killed 15,740 New Yorkers to date.
As of Wednesday, slightly more than 3,000 people in Schenectady have been tested, or 2 percent of the total population.
Of those, 373 people have tested positive, or roughly 12 percent. Fifteen residents have succumbed to the virus as of Thursday, including a 65-year-old man who died Wednesday, officials reported.