Questions About Testing and Contact Tracing?
Ontario County Public Health has the answers! Take a moment to get your questions answered by Kate Ott, MPH, Deputy Director for Ontario County Public Health.
Diagnostic (Swab) verses Antibody (Serum)
There has been a lot of talk about COVID-19 testing in the news. Diagnostic (nasopharyngeal swab) testing is not the same as an antibody test.
Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic tests check samples from your respiratory system (such as swabs of the inside of the nose) to tell you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Diagnostic testing is used to diagnose COVID-19.
Who needs diagnostic testing? According to New York State Department of Health, COVID-19 diagnostic testing is for people: (Updated 5/18/2020)
- With COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell)
- That have/had contact with someone positive for COVID-19 or in quarantine
- Working in healthcare, in a nursing home or as a first responder
- Working directly with the public
- Returning in to work in Phase 1 of the NYS reopening plan
- Still unsure if you should be tested? Take the testing assessment: Click here Version OptionsTestingHeadline
All diagnostic testing for COVID 19 in Ontario County should be through your healthcare provider. Some Urgent Care facilities are also doing COVID-19 testing. You should call the Urgent Care Center before going if you think you may have COVID-19.
If you do not have a healthcare provider call one of our three Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHC).
Finger Lakes Community Health:
- Phone: 315-531-9102
- Phone: 1-585-396-0222
- Phone: 1-585-554-4400
Other Diagnostic Testing Options:
- Drive-thru COVID-19 evaluation is available at Clifton Springs Hospital. Patients will be billed for visit per their website. For testing criteria, hours of operation and a short video Click here Version OptionsTestingHeadline
- Drive-through testing is now available by appointment only on the MCC Brighton Campus. Call 1-888-364-3065 or register online. Testing is free to all eligible New Yorkers. Learn more about testing Click here Version OptionsTestingHeadline
- Looking for a testing site near you? Click here Version OptionsTestingHeadline
If you are having trouble getting COVID-19 testing, call Ontario County Public Health and speak to a Registered Nurse (1-585-396-4551).
Antibody blood test: Antibody blood tests, also called serologic tests. Antibody tests heck your blood (serum) for antibodies that would show if you have had a previous infection. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off germs. Antibody testing is not used to diagnose COVID-19. A serologic test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1 to 3 weeks to make antibodies after symptoms occur.
Unknowns: We do not know yet if having antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 can protect someone from getting infected with that virus again, or how long that protection might last. Scientists are doing studies to answer those questions.
Antibody Testing Availability:
Currently, providing BOTH diagnostic and serologic antibody testing:
- WellNow Urgent care in Geneva has the ability to do both COVID-19 diagnostic testing and antibody testing. To learn more about eligibility and cost please visit their website. Click here
- Finger Lakes Health, Urgent Care in Geneva has the ability to do both COVID-19 diagnostic testing and antibody testing. To learn more about eligibility and cost please visit their website. Click here Version OptionsTestingHeadline
For both Diagnostic and Antibody Testing:
On April 17, 2020, Executive Order 202.19 was issued by NYSDOH to define test prioritization as follows:
- Symptomatic individuals, particularly if the person is part of a high-risk population, including persons who are hospitalized;
- persons residing in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, or other congregate care settings;
- persons who have a compromised immune system;
- persons who have an underlying health condition; and persons who are 70 years of age or older.
- Individuals who have had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19.
- Individuals who are employed as health care workers, first responders, or in any position within a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other congregate care setting, Others including but not limited to:
- Correction/Parole/Probation Officers
- Direct Care Providers
- Health Care Practitioners, Professionals, Aides, and Support Staff (e.g. Physicians, Nurses, Public Health Personnel)
- Medical Specialists
- Nutritionists and Dietitians
- Occupational/Physical/Recreational/Speech Therapists
- Paramedics/Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- Police Officers
- Residential Care Program Managers
Individuals who are employed as essential employees who directly interact with the public while working, including but not limited to:
- Animal Care Workers (e.g. Veterinarians)
- Automotive Service and Repair Workers
- Bank Tellers and Workers
- Building Code Enforcement Officers
- Child Care Workers
- Client-Facing Case Managers and Coordinators
- Counselors (e.g. Mental Health, Addiction, Youth, Vocational, Crisis, etc.)
- Delivery Workers
- Dentists and Dental Hygienists
- Essential Construction Workers at Occupied Residences or Buildings
- Faith-Based Leaders (e.g. Chaplains, Clergy Members)
- Field Investigators/Regulators for Health and Safety
- Food Service Workers
- Funeral Home Workers
- Hotel/Motel Workers
- Human Services Providers
- Laundry and Dry Cleaning Workers
- Mail and Shipping Workers
- Maintenance and Janitorial/Cleaning Workers
- Optometrists, Opticians, and Supporting Staff
- Retail Workers at Essential Businesses (e.g. Grocery Stores, Pharmacies, Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, Hardware Stores)
- Security Guards and Personnel
- Shelter Workers and Homelessness Support Staff
- Social Workers
- Transit Workers (e.g. Airports, Railways, Buses, and For-Hire Vehicles
- Trash and Recycling Workers
- Utility Workers
If you test positive or negative for COVID-19, no matter the type of test, you still should take preventive measures to protect others: Click here to learn more