Schenectady County opens COVID test site for students, school staff

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

Schenectady County has partnered with Ellis Medicine to provide free COVID testing to students, families and school employees at the hospital’s McClellan Street Health Center. 

The new clinic, which will be run by Schenectady County Public Health, comes days after the county implemented a test-to-stay option, allowing students who were exposed to the virus to complete a series of COVID tests to stay in school.

“Students have already missed a lot of classroom time due to the pandemic,” said County Legislator Michelle Ostrelich, chair of the Health & Human Services committee, in a statement. “The new guidance available to school districts and our free testing clinic will allow students to return to school as quickly and safely as possible after a potential exposure.”

The new testing site comes as local schools welcome students back following the holiday break and growing concerns of a surging virus. Hundreds of students and staff have tested positive for the virus since schools reopened, forcing some districts to switch to remote learning just days after reopening, including Albany city schools.

The state is in the process of distributing thousands of at-home test kits to school districts as a way to contain the virus as part of a broader plan laid out by Gov. Kathy Hochul intended to avoid another shutdown while reducing the spread of the virus. The plan calls for masking, increased testing and vaccinations.

The new testing site opened Tuesday and conducted more than 130 tests, according to a news release.

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Appointments must be made online in advance by visiting, schenectadycounty.com/covid19 under the “school-related COVID-19 testing.”

Hours of operation for the clinic are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the McClellan Street Health Center located at 600 McClellan St.

The county is also hosting a series of vaccination clinics, including those for children between the ages of 5 and 11 throughout the month.

For additional information, visit schenectadycounty.com/covid19/vaccine. 

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.  

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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