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Cayuga Health opens new COVID-19 screening center in Ithaca

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A new COVID-19 sampling center opens today through a partnership between Tompkins County and Cayuga Health, replacing the previous sampling facility which opened on March 16.

Patients who meet screening criteria can now be tested Monday – Friday from 10 am to 3 pm at the new center, which is located in portable structures at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot.

Screening is free as per state law and includes throat and nose swabbing, which gets sent to offsite testing centers for results.

Preregistration is encouraged at cayugahealth.org or by calling 607-319-5708.

“Testing for COVID-19 has rapidly evolved. Last week we were successful with opening one of the first COVID-19 sampling centers in New York State and we will continue to do what it takes to meet the healthcare needs of our community,” said Martin Stallone, President & CEO of Cayuga Health. “I want to thank The Shops at Ithaca Mall and our Tompkins County officials for their efforts and support in making this Sampling Center come together so quickly. I would also like to thank the entire Cayuga Health staff for their tireless dedication and hard work over the past several weeks.”


The criteria for testing includes two questions:

  1. Have you had a recent onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or body aches
  2. Have you been in the same room with a person confirmed positive with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

Those tested must go straight home, as they will be on mandatory home isolation as directed by the Health Department. Individuals will be contacted in about aweek with their results.

Individuals will then be contacted daily by health officials to ensure they’re complying with mandatory home isolation.

“This new sampling center is another way for us to do our part to flatten the curve, get people tested, and keep our community safe,” said Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director. “We recognize there are limitations to this sampling site and we will continue to work to find solutions to ensure that everyone who needs to get tested is able to receive this service. I would like to thank Dr. Stallone and his entire team for leading this effort for the Sampling Center.”


Patients entering by car can tune into FM 96.3 to receive instructions about driving through the Sampling Center. Signs will also convey important information to help with traffic control.

If you do not have transportation, please do not take public transportation to the sampling center. Cayuga Health and Tompkins County officials are working closely to determine if mobile sampling is available or other transportation options.

The public will be updated about these options.


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