Oswego County Distributes Test Kits to Vulnerable Populations

OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Emergency Management Office (EMO) is distributing the 5,310 COVID-19 home test kits the County received from New York State this week to vulnerable populations through partnerships with local service agencies.

“We received a very modest number of kits, so we’ve determined the kits will be provided to our county’s most vulnerable populations – people who cannot easily get to an established testing site,” said Cathleen Palmitesso, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “We hope New York State will provide additional shipments to enable us to conduct a public distribution for our county residents. We are working with the County Office for the Aging, Department of Social Services, and several private not-for-profit agencies to distribute kits to individuals within these groups.”

Oswego County Office for the Aging Director Sara Sunday added, “The Office for the Aging is happy to have received these home test kits for our elderly Oswego County residents. As COVID-19 continues to be a threat to one of our most vulnerable populations and older adults often have multiple chronic health conditions, getting these kits into their hands is paramount to help identify those who are ill and allowing treatment to begin sooner. These kits allow our seniors to test at home, eliminating the need to try and secure transportation and potentially exposing themselves further.”

The Oswego County Health Department received 4,600 COVID-19 at-home test kits that were distributed to Oswego County school districts in time for the start of the semester.

KN95 masks delivered to the county last week have been distributed to municipalities and agencies that serve vulnerable populations. Residents can check with their municipal offices for information on how to receive them. Residents of Oswego Town and Minetto can stop into K9 Grooming, 2452 County Route 7, Oswego, to pick one up.

For more information, go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call its COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330. The county’s COVID-19 hotline is open seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call volume remains high, and at times callers may need to leave a message and a staff member will return your call.

Residents should also contact their medical providers directly for personal medical advice about COVID-19 and vaccinations or booster shots.

For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.

Effective Dec. 13, New York State requires that masks must be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a full-course vaccination requirement. In accordance with state regulations, Oswego County government requires masks to be worn inside all county government facilities.

Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response within the County of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response, and reporting.