Odell asks for COVID-19 testing site in Putnam County

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CARMEL – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has formally requested that the state health department establish a COVID-19 testing site in the county.

The lack of a state-run testing site within our county is putting Putnam County healthcare workers, first responders and residents at great risk,” Odell said. 

The county needs its own testing site “so we can be sure of the accuracy of the results,” Odell said. “Secondhand information can be unreliable. Our first responders and health care workers need all the accurate information possible to protect themselves and our communities.” 

The Putnam County Health Department is out of test kits and symptomatic residents must now travel to Westchester County, Dutchess County, Bear Mountain State Park or Danbury, Connecticut to get testing, she said.

“The information on positive test results we get from those out of county sites is often woefully incomplete,” said Putnam County Commissioner of Health Dr. Michael Nesheiwat.

Every testing site location is providing information in a different format, it is not standardized, he said.  Much of the patient information is incomplete and numbers per municipality are skewed because zip codes overlap municipalities in Putnam.

“Sometimes a positive test report contains too little information to track a case,” Dr. Nesheiwat said. “We can’t operate in the dark. We need full, complete information to best protect the health and safety of our residents.”

Putnam received an additional 16 positive tests on Thursday, bringing the county’s total positive cases to 109.