Putnam County expands local access to COVID-19 testing

Immediate Release

Putnam County Executive

MaryEllen Odell


December 23, 2021


Putnam County expands local access to COVID-19 testing


Putnam County will offer free rapid Covid testing for residents starting Monday, Dec. 27, Putnam County Executive, MaryEllen Odell announced.

The Covid tests will be offered to the public on a walk-in basis at the former Dress Barn in Putnam Plaza in Carmel seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Dec. 27. Starting the following Monday, Jan. 3, testing will be also be offered on a walk-in basis at the Philipstown Recreation Center seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Also starting on Monday, Jan. 3, both sites will be open exclusively to school children from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays only. The children must attend schools in Putnam County.

The testing plan is the result of a public-private collaboration. Time is of the essence when it comes to Covid testing and since the state is not offering a testing site anywhere in our region, we had to be proactive and find a way to establish our own site in Putnam County, Odell said.


‚ÄúPutnam County healthcare providers are overwhelmed with the current demand for testing,‚ÄĚ County Executive Odell said. ‚ÄúResidents are waiting days to access tests¬†and, in some cases,¬†are traveling far distances to receive basic healthcare. The county‚Äôs expanded partnership with¬†Ambulnz¬†allows us to set up rapid test sites on both sides of the county as soon as December 27.‚ÄĚ


In addition, The Putnam County Department of Health announced that in the new year, local school districts will have the opportunity to implement Test to Stay (TTS), a serial testing strategy that enables close contacts to avoid school quarantines.  Local implementation plans and policies must align with the guidance from the state health department  and are still being developed.


Putnam County Department of Health plans are being finalized with the understanding that the state health department is currently reviewing the Test to Stay studies shared by the CDC and will be releasing updated guidance in the coming days.


“Putnam County¬†understands¬†the¬†strain on residents and healthcare providers alike, due to this current surge in cases, ‚Äú Commissioner of Health, Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD said.¬†‚ÄúExpanded access to testing, both through TTS and¬†rapid testing¬†sites¬†on both sides of the county will alleviate some¬†stress and help keep our communities healthy.‚ÄĚ


As always, individuals eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, including booster doses, are encouraged to make vaccination appointments in advance and speak directly to their healthcare provider if they have any questions, Dr. Nesheiwat said.


PCDOH¬†will continue to focus on vaccination clinics¬†in Carmel and Philipstown to ensure all residents choosing to get vaccinated will have access to an appointment.¬†Getting vaccinated, staying home when you are sick, wearing a mask when in public spaces, and maintaining good hand hygiene‚ÄĒthese actions continue to be the best ways to stay safe this holiday season.


‚ÄúWe will continue to step up and meet the needs of our residents by continued¬†partnerships with businesses to¬†ramp up¬†testing–¬†and our local health¬†department¬†will remain focused on¬†vaccination clinics¬†as long as there is¬†local demand,‚ÄĚ County Executive Odell said.



Register for a vaccination appointment at:  https://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/covid19/#vaxinfo.



For more information about Test to Stay, the CDC studies can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/transmission_k_12_schools.html.