Schenectady

Pop-up COVID-19 testing sites to target underserved Schenectady residents

Sites will be available for both foot and drive-through traffic
COVID-19 testing last month at Saratoga Hospital
PHOTOGRAPHER:
COVID-19 testing last month at Saratoga Hospital

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — An effort to ramp up testing of inner-city residents will begin Monday.

The first pop-up site will be at Ellis Medicine’s McClellan Street Health Center, 600 McClellan St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mobile clinics will rotate to different sites in Mont Pleasant and Vale, among others.

“The primary goal is to reach symptomatic people who are without access to transportation or face other barriers to testing,” said Ellis Medicine in a released statement. “No prescriptions are needed and tests will be offered to those with or without insurance.”

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The sites will be available for both foot and drive-through traffic.

“The hope is 100 per day,” said Philip Schwartz, Ellis Medicine spokesperson.

While cases statewide are ebbing, the lack of testing means the true nature of the virus spread in upstate communities is unclear.

Roughly 3,100 people have been tested in Schenectady County, 426 of them positive as of Sunday.

With 24 people hospitalized, the number remains flat and uncharged over the past two weeks, as is the number of people under precautionary quarantine, which continues to hover below 700 daily.

One-hundred and seventy-nine people who presented symptoms remained in isolation over the weekend, according to county health officials. 

Twenty-two people have died from the virus, 12 of them residents of adult-care facilities.

Testing at the mobile sites will continue throughout the week at the following locations, with all times from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

  • Monday, April 27: Ellis Medicine’s McClellan Street Health Center (rescheduled from William Keane Elementary School, 1252 Albany St., due to rain)
  • Tuesday, April 28: Mont Pleasant Middle School, 1121 Forest Road, Schenectady.
  • Wednesday, April 29: Washington Irving Education Center, 422 Mumford St., Schenectady.
  • Thursday, April 30: TBD based on demand
  • Friday, May 1: Ellis Medicine’s McClellan Street Health Center, 600 McClellan St., Schenectady.

The last available times for walk-ups will be at 4:30 p.m. and sites will close for staff breaks between noon and 1 p.m.

The rain site will be Ellis’ McClellan Street Health Center, and testing will occur outdoors to limit potential exposure to patients and staff.

Walk-up sites designed to reach underserved populations will also continue this week in Albany. 

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Testing has generally been unavailable for the past five weeks due to supply shortages.

But high demand continues to present “serious challenges,” according to Ellis.

“With the roll-out of this project, there have been requests for additional kits and supplies from the New York State Department of Health.” 

The effort is a partnership between Ellis Medicine, county Public Health, Hometown Health Centers and MVP Health Care.

Stakeholders also aim to build a database of people who may be candidates to donate their antibody-containing plasma to help others combat the virus following their full recovery.

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 last week.

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