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COVID-19 FAQs

Table of Contents
Testing
Employment
Volunteering/Contact Tracing
Resources  


Testing
Update 11/21/2020

Do I need to get tested, and how do I get tested for COVID-19?

If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first to get guidance on testing. If you do not have a healthcare provider or would like to see other options, see the chart below.

If you are in quarantine from being in close contact with someone who tested positive and develop symptoms, it is advised that you get tested.

If you do not have symptoms, were not in close contact with someone who tested positive, and were not advised by a healthcare provider or public health department to get tested, some healthcare providers will test at an out-of-pocket cost.

Healthcare Provider

Schedule an Appointment

Locations

Criteria for Testing

Arnot Health Drive-Thru

1-800-952-2662

Schedule online

 

Elmira: St Joseph’s Campus

Bath: Ira Davenport

Call or schedule online for testing criteria.

Guthrie

866-488-4743

Corning Center Way

Big Flats

Sayre

Towanda

You must be referred by a primary care provider.

Cayuga Medical Drive-Thru

607-319-5708

Schedule online

Ithaca

You must have symptoms. If you do not, you can pay out of pocket for testing.

Wellnow Urgent Care

607-846-2030

Schedule online

Walk-in

Big Flats

Testing available by appointment or walk-in for people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or in need pre-operative testing.

Smith Allergy Associates

607-438-2616

Horseheads

Cortland

Ithaca

You must have symptoms. They do not test travelers or close contacts.

Rite Aid

Schedule online

Corning

No cost testing for anyone 18+.

NYS Drive-Thru Testing Site – Binghamton

1-888-364-3065

Schedule online

Binghamton

Call or take a screening online to see if you meet testing criteria.

At-Home Testing Kit

Schedule online

 

You must have symptoms or be asked to get tested by a healthcare, public health department, or contact investigator.


Do I have to pay for a COVID-19 test?

Billing varies based on the testing healthcare provider. Many health insurance plans have publicly declared that they are waiving member co-pays and out-of -pocket expenses for COVID-19 testing. Check with your insurance provider and healthcare provider for specific information on testing costs.

What happens if I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have been determined to be a close contact with some who has tested positive for COVID-19, the Health Department will contact with you quarantine dates and instructions.

Close contacts are individuals that have been closer than 6 feet with a positive case for more than 10 minutes during the case’s infectious period. Close contacts will be quarantined and monitored for 14 days from the last date of exposure (note: If you are a close contact to a positive case who lives within your household, your quarantine date will go 14 days from last exposure. That means if you are unable to isolate away from the case, your quarantine will go 14 days from the case’s last day of being infectious).

Quarantining means to stay home, isolate away from other people in the home, and to disinfect shared spaces within the home. The Health Department will check in daily to monitor for symptoms. If you have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms, it is advised that you get tested.

Does the Local Health Department have test kits?

The Local Health Department does not have test kits. Testing is free for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider. If you have concerns about if you should be tested, please call your primary care provider, the emergency department.

Why do the number of positive cases being reported by the Chemung County Health Department not match the number being reported by New York State Department of Health?

An initial case can be assigned to Chemung County incorrectly, and this can occur when a patient fails to update the address information with the medical provider. Once this case is redirected to the correct county, NYS DOH hasn’t updated their records. Unfortunately, depending on where the individual has the test conducted, within county or out of county has also played a role in correctly designating the patient’s county of residence.

More important than the number of cases is the investigation itself. It is paramount that the investigation begin quickly and aggressively in order to discuss the situation with the patient and their contacts and take the appropriate measures.

Currently the best way to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19 is to stay at home. If you do need to go out, maintain a 6 foot distance from others.

What is an antibody test? Can I get an antibody test?

Antibody testing checks a sample of a person’s blood to look for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies are produced when someone has been infected, so a positive result from this test indicates that person was previously infected with the virus.

We do not know yet if the antibodies that result from infection with SARS-CoV-2 can protect someone from a repeat infection with this virus or how long antibodies to the virus will protect someone. Scientists are conducting studies to answer those questions.

Antibody tests may not be able to tell you if you are currently infected because it typically takes 1 to 3 weeks to develop antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 after infection. To tell if you are currently infected, you would need a viral test that uses samples from your respiratory system.

Some local health care providers are providing antibody tests. Please call your health care provider for more information if you are interested in antibody testing.

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Employment
I am an essential worker. Can I go to work if I am on isolation or quarantine?

It is up to your employer to determine if you are an essential worker and to abide by the NYSDOH essential employee guidelines.

Positive employees: If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether the employee is symptomatic or asymptomatic, the employee may return to work upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms or 10 days of isolation after the first positive test if they remain asymptomatic.

Symptomatic close contact employees: If an employee has had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, the employee may return to work upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms.

Asymptomatic close contact employees: If an employee has had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is not experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, the employee may return to work upon completing 14 days of self-quarantine.

Any employee returning to work after testing positive or having prolonged exposure to COVID-19 must follow NYSDOH guidance. More information can be found at:

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/04/doh_covid19_essentialpersonnelreturntowork_rev2_033120.pdf

https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/06/doh_covid19_publicprivateemployeereturntowork_053120.pdf

How can I get isolation or quarantine paperwork for my employer or for paid sick leave?

If you are a Chemung County resident and have been placed on isolation or quarantine by the Health Department, fill out this form to request paperwork.

How do I report a business or an employer that is not following social distancing and mask guidelines?

If you are aware of any non-essential gatherings or any non-essential businesses or entities operating in violation of "New York on PAUSE" file a complaint through the NYSDOH here.

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Volunteering/Contact Tracing
Update 5/8/20

Can I volunteer?

As you know volunteers will be needed in the event of an emergency. Go to https://my.ny.gov/ and sign up for a personal account then go to health applications and select ServNY. Fill in the required information and be sure to click register to complete the process.  We will then be in touch with more information on volunteering during an emergency.

Can I become a contact tracer for my community?

New York State will hire and train a team of staff working remotely to support the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Local Health Departments (LHDs) to perform COVID-19 contact tracing in communities across NYS. There are requirements to become a contract tracer, such as NYS residency, so please visit www.coronavirus.health.ny.gov to learn more.

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Resources
Update 11/23/2020

Are there any local resources who can provide me with assistance?

Please click here, to go to the COVID-19 Resources page from the Department of Social Services for update information about assistance programs.

Special Enrollment Period for NY State of Health

Uninsured New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health or directly to insurers during a special enrollment period. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus.

Free Mental Health Services

As of March 26, more than 8,600 mental health professionals, including individuals from other states, have signed up to provide free online mental health services.

New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.

Individual or Small Group Health Insurance Policies

Through June 1, 2020, consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums under individual and small group health insurance policies. DFS shall consider any liquidity or solvency concerns of the health plans. During this period, health plans will be required to continue to pay claims, not to report late payments to credit rating agencies, and to work with individuals to help them transition to new coverage, if appropriate. In addition, insurers are reminded that they cannot impose late payment fees. Governor Cuomo thanked Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont for his collaboration on this initiative.

Unemployment Insurance Waiting Period Waived

On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order waiving the 7-day waiting period for workers in shared work programs to claim unemployment insurance for those that have been put out of work by COVID-19.

Visit www.dol.ny.gov to learn more and file for unemployment.