Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Announces Two Drive-Through COVID-19 Test Distribution Events; Ulster County Will Distribute Additional 20,000 Free Rapid At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits This Week to Ensure Safe Holidays

Open only to Ulster County residents, Ulster County will be holding two FREE drive-through test distribution events at TechCity on Wednesday, December 29th and at the Ulster County Fairgrounds on Thursday, December 30th

In addition to these large-scale distribution events, Ulster County will again partner with all 24 municipalities within the county and local nonprofits to distribute free kits directly to residents

Last week, County Executive Pat Ryan announced that the County had purchased an additional 20,000 COVID-19 at-home rapid test kits; in total Ulster County will distribute over 50,000 kits directly to residents at no cost during the holidays

KINGSTON, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced today that the County will hold two FREE drive-through at-home test distribution events at TechCity in the town of Ulster on Wednesday, December 29th, and at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz on Thursday, December 30th. Each event will have 3,000 at-home kits available to Ulster County residents, with one kit available per car. The events will start at 6 PM and run while supplies last.  

“As expected, the holiday season coupled with the emergence of Omicron has resulted in a dramatic surge in positive cases throughout the area,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “Our last round of at-home test kit distribution was a major success, and I am proud that we are able to provide even more tests at this pivotal moment for our community. With positive cases on the rise, testing, wearing a mask, and getting your booster shot are essential tools to keep our community safe and our schools and businesses open.” 

Additionally, Ulster County will again partner with all 24 municipalities in the county to provide rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits at no cost to cities, towns, and villages throughout Ulster County. Residents are encouraged to contact their municipality for additional details on how to obtain kits. Please remember to call ahead to make arrangements for outside pick-up, if you are symptomatic, to stem the spread of COVID-19. Each at-home rapid kit contains two tests per box. 

Last week, County Executive Ryan announced that Ulster County had secured an additional 20,000 COVID-19 at-home rapid test kits. In total, the County has acquired over 50,000 COVID-19 at-home rapid kits to distribute directly to families and residents in an effort to allow local schools and businesses to remain open safely while increasing testing capacity and access throughout the area. On Monday, New York State announced they will distribute 3 million to 3.5 million take-home kits, with priority given to districts that have the highest transmission rates.

Last month, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan declared a State of Emergency due to rising cases of COVID-19 and surging hospitalizations. The emergency order has allowed the County to rapidly procure the at-home kits and secure a second school specialist from the State to assist with contact tracing. 

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.

What to do if you test positive with at-home rapid COVID test:

Recipients of the free COVID-19 at-home rapid tests should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for administering the test. Anyone who tests positive should immediately isolate themselves from others, regardless of vaccination status. Isolation includes retiring to a separate room in the house and avoiding contact with others in the household. If symptomatic, consult with a doctor about treatment and how to isolate people who need caregiving.

Report positive at-home test results to the Department of Health online at covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/hometest/ or by calling the Ulster County Recovery Service Center (RSC) at 845-443-8888. (Negative test results do not need to be reported to the Department of Health.) Necessary information to report a positive test result includes:

  • Name of person tested
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Physical address
  • Date of test
  • A photo image of the positive test result is REQUIRED by New York State Department of Health and should be taken within 24 hours of test administration. 

Once a positive test result is reported to the Department of Health, you will be contacted by a public health nurse for case investigation and documentation which you can provide to your school or employer; please be sure to answer phone calls from unfamiliar numbers while waiting to hear from the health department.

For questions, please call the Ulster County Recovery Service Center (RSC) at 845-443-8888.