KINGSTON, N.Y. – County Executive Pat Ryan announced today that Ulster County has secured 33,000 COVID-19 at-home rapid test kits in an effort to allow local schools and businesses to remain open safely while increasing testing capacity and access throughout the county. Ulster County will partner with schools, towns, and nonprofits to assist with distribution. The rapid, at-home tests will be provided at no cost to residents, helping to ensure fair and equitable access to vital testing resources.
“Twenty months into the pandemic, we know how essential it is to have access to rapid testing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our schools and businesses open,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “By teaming up with our schools, municipalities, and community groups, we can make our community safer and keep our economy running. Testing, mask-wearing, and receiving the vaccine are essential to helping us emerge from the pandemic.”
County Executive Pat Ryan said additional details about distribution partners and where residents can get their free kit will be announced next week. Each kit has two quick view tests, which provide results in 15 minutes. The tests are shallow nasal swabs.
Additionally, County Executive Pat Ryan today announced that the County will receive a second school specialist from New York State which will help streamline contact tracing for schools in Ulster County.
On Sunday, Ulster County Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Carol Smith issued a public health advisory strongly recommending that all residents wear masks in public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Last week, County Executive Pat Ryan declared a State of Emergency due to rising positivity and hospitalization rates in Ulster County, days after New York State announced its first case of the Omicron variant, and as Ulster County’s active case count jumped to its highest level since April 2021.
Ulster County will continue to hold regular vaccination PODs for residents who need to receive their 1st dose, 2nd dose, or booster dose. Appointments are recommended for the County’s vaccination PODs; although walk-ins will be accommodated as capacity allows. Sign up for an appointment at VaccinateUlster.com.