Griffo and Buttenschon urge reopening of regional COVID-19 testing sites

New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-Marcy, today urged Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Department of Health to reopen regional COVID-19 testing sites such as the one at Griffiss International Airport in Rome. 

When these state-run test sites were operational, the public had access to testing at no additional cost. However, citing a low positivity rate and a decrease in drive-through testing demand, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in June that the Rome site and others would be demobilized and eventually closed. 

Pharmacies and medical practices continue to offer COVID-19 testing but may charge a fee for a test. 

“New York must remain ready and willing to handle the increased need for coronavirus testing that has resulted from recent mandates,” Sen. Griffo said. “It is important that we are able to provide the highest standard of testing possible at no cost. We have done so before and we must do so again as we continue to confront this public health challenge.” 

“The New York State operated testing site at Griffiss Park in Rome was centrally located, efficient and provided quick COVID-19 test results,” Assemblywoman Buttenschon said. “I understand it closed as demand for testing dropped. However, we’ve seen demand increase recently as new COVID cases and potential exposures mount. Opening regional state-operated sites would allow individuals access to accurate tests without having to wait an extended time.  Employees are missing too many days of work as they await test results, while employers are being forced to turn away business because their staffs are sidelined by delays in the system.”