More COVID testing, vaccination sites coming to New York’s North Country

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 5:49 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2021 at 5:56 PM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Getting more COVID testing and vaccination sites are a top priority in New York.

For weeks, counties have been calling on the state for help. Now, the state is delivering resources in the form of testing kits, testing sites and vaccination clinics. County leaders say it’s a good first step but the help can’t stop there.

Monday morning, Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-New York, announced hospitalizations continued to trend upward in the state, particularly among unvaccinated children.

“Many people thought and continue to think that children don’t become infected. That is not true,” said Dr. Mary Bassett of the New York State Department of Health.

The governor says 37 million at-home testing kits are coming to the state to help track and stop the spread of the virus, 3.5 million tests headed to schools and communities getting more tests and vaccine doses.

“Any county that wants additional testing sites is able to request staff and supplies from the state and we’ve been supplying those as counties step up their work,” said Jackie Bray of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The North Country communities have been asking for resources, leading to a declaration of a state of emergency a few weeks ago.

“We should have the resources to do this correctly here in the North Country and throughout New York,” said Assemblyman Bill Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake.

Franklin County is opening a state-run testing site this Thursday and will offer free testing three days a week going forward.

“We have to get those testing sites here yesterday,” Jones said.

There is a testing shortage in the region and calls for more resources will continue, along with calls for faster turnaround times for PCR tests.

“Test results back in a timely manner we can contain this virus, we know that,” Jones said.

The state is sending vaccine doses and staff to Clinton County to help get more shots in arms, allowing the Clinton County Health Department to boost its weekly vaccine clinic from 400 doses to 1,000 starting this Wednesday at Clinton Community College.

“There is a need for it,” Jones said.

Hochul gave an update Monday that 4.3 million boosters have gone out in the state, with just over 98,000 in the North Country.

County leaders and health officials hope to see that number rise with more vaccination sites coming to the area.

“We need them. They are desperately needed,” Jones said.

Click here for more information on where and when the testing sites will be in Franklin County.

Click here to sign up for the vaccination clinics.

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New York adds new COVID testing sites; Hochul takes on critics

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