Questions About Testing and Contact Tracing?

Ontario County Public Health has the answers! Take a moment to get your questions answered by Kate Ott, MPH,  Deputy Director for Ontario County Public Health.

(Updated 5/11/2020)

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COVID-19 Testing

Diagnostic (Swab) verses Antibody (Serum)

There has been a lot of talk about COVID-19 testing in the news. Diagnostic (nasopharyngeal swab) testing is not the same as an antibody test. 

Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic tests check samples from your respiratory system (such as swabs of the inside of the nose) to tell you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Diagnostic testing is used to diagnose COVID-19. 

Who needs diagnostic testing? According to New York State Department of Health, COVID-19 diagnostic testing is for people: (Updated 6/8/2020)

  • An individual is symptomatic or has a history of symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, and/or trouble breathing), particularly if the individual is 70 years of age or older, the individual has a compromised immune system, or the individual has an underlying health condition; or
  •  An individual has had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19; or
  •  An individual is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine; or
  • An individual is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or other essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working; or
  • An individual presents with a case where the facts and circumstances – as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state or local department of health officials – warrant testing; or
  •  An individual is included under other criteria set by the NYS Dept. of Health based on an individual’s geographic place of residence, occupation, or other factors that the Department may deem relevant for COVID-19 testing purposes; or
  •  Any individual who would return to workplace in Phase 1; or    
  •  Any individual who attended any of the recent protests across the state.    
  • Still unsure if you should be tested? Take the testing assessment: Click here

All diagnostic testing for COVID 19 in Ontario County should be through your healthcare provider. Some Urgent Care facilities are also doing COVID-19 testing. You should call the Urgent Care Center before going if you think you may have COVID-19.

If you do not have a healthcare provider call one of our three Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHC).  

Finger Lakes Community Health: 

  • Finger Lakes Community Health is now offering asymptomatic COVID-19 testing weekly. 

    The test for asymptomatic individuals is $60 and is reimbursed if insurance covers its. Also, there is a program to help cover cost if people can’t afford the $60.  People who wish to be tested must register in advance at Click here to register

    WHO: People who DO NOT have any symptoms can be tested at this event. If you DO have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, please call our health centers at (315) 781-8448 for further instructions. Please note: these tests do not fulfill the pre-op requirement if you’re undergoing a surgical procedure. Please contact your surgeon or provider for more information.
    WHAT: These drive-through COVID tests are available at four of our health centers. You will remain in your car during the testing.
    WHEN: Every Thursday from 9 AM to 10 AM at Penn Yan Community Health, Ovid Community Health, and Newark Community Health OR every Thursday from 1 to 2 PM at Geneva Community Health.

Jordan Health:

  • Phone: 1-585-396-0222

Mosaic Health:

Other Diagnostic Testing Options:

If you are having trouble getting COVID-19 testing, call Ontario County Public Health and speak to a Registered Nurse (1-585-396-4551).  

Antibody blood test: Antibody blood tests, also called serologic tests. Antibody tests heck your blood (serum) for antibodies that would show if you have had a previous infection. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off germs. Antibody testing is not used to diagnose COVID-19. A serologic test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1 to 3 weeks to make antibodies after symptoms occur.

Unknowns: We do not know yet if having antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 can protect someone from getting infected with that virus again, or how long that protection might last. Scientists are doing studies to answer those questions.

Antibody Testing Availability:

Currently, providing BOTH diagnostic and serologic antibody testing:

If you test positive or negative for COVID-19, no matter the type of test, you still should take preventive measures to protect others: Click here to learn more

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