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COVID-19 Testing Criteria Expanded to Include Essential Workers

(Ithaca, NY – April 26, 2020) - This weekend, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that testing for COVID-19 will be made available for essential workers. This is in addition to individuals who should seek testing because they are symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said, “As many essential workers are still interacting directly with the public, increased testing is vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19. This increased testing will allow us to identify positive cases, and reduce potential exposures.” Kruppa continued, “Essential workers have been on the front line responding to this crisis, I want to thank all of the essential workers in Tompkins County who are continuing to serve our community during this difficult time.”

Who should get tested?

  • A list of essential workers is defined and frequently updated by New York State and can be found here (

  • Anyone who is symptomatic or came in close contact with a positive case (regardless of essential worker status) is still encouraged to seek testing.

Where and when to get tested?

  • Testing for COVID-19 is available at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall parking lot, 40 Catherwood Rd., between the hours of 10am-3pm Monday through Friday.

  • Pre-register online at or through the Call Center, 607-319-5708, between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday through Friday.

  • Sampling is to determine if you currently have COVID-19; this is not the antibody test.

What should you do after testing?

  •  If you do not have symptoms, continue to work and follow social distancing guidance, wear a face covering, and wash your hands well and often.

  • You will be contacted with results as soon as they are available.

What does your test result mean?

  • If your test result is positive, you will be contacted by a Community Health Nurse who will conduct a contact investigation and provide instructions about self-isolation. See full guidance here.

How do essential businesses, nonprofits, or government operations obtain masks?

  • Businesses and organizations deemed essential can make requests through this form for cloth masks and hand sanitizer for their employees.

  • Guidance on the use of masks can be found here.


Stay informed. Get updated information on COVID-19 at:

As this situation evolves, check the TCHD website for updates.

Find us on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter @TompkinsHealth.


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