RENSSELAER COUNTY REACHES IMPORTANT MILESTONES IN FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19, WITH 300,000 TESTS FOR RESIDENTS AND ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF COUNTY ESTABLISHING TESTING SITE, COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE MCLAUGHLIN AND PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR MARY FRAN WACHUNAS ANNOUNCE
Rensselaer County reached two important milestones for testing for COVID-19 in recent days, recognizing the county’s commitment to providing testing throughout the pandemic, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas announced.
The county has made the biggest local investment in testing in the region, and on May 8 reached a one-year milestone for the opening of the testing facility. The county COVID-19 test facility was originally based at Hudson Valley Community College before it was relocated to the county’s Van Rensselaer Manor nursing home.
On March 18, the county recorded the 300,000th test of a county resident. Approximately 140,000 have been tested to date at county facilities.
“Setting up the testing site was a key moment in our response to COVID-19. We recognized our residents needed consistent and convenient access to testing and worked to provide that access. We made the largest investment in testing in the region, and we are very proud of that fact,” said McLaughlin.
“Testing has been an invaluable resource in protecting our most vulnerable, in tracking the spread of COVID-19 and helping our health team respond. Establishing a county testing facility was the right move,” said Wachunas.
The county testing facility was opened by the county after efforts to locate a state testing site fell flat. All elected mayors, supervisors and members of the County Legislature signed letters advocating for the testing in the county.
“The testing effort in the county came about thanks to a cooperative, bi-partisan effort to support establishment of a testing facility here. There were delays, but our combined advocacy got real results,” said McLaughlin.
“We spoke with one voice to get results for our residents because we took the issue seriously. We needed testing and came together, and that helped make a difference in establishing the site. I thank the County Executive and his team for their leadership and work on this issue,” said Chair of the Legislature Mike Stammel.
“For those of us on the local level, the cooperation and coordination in sending a message got us results. The county was able to get access to testing supplies months before other areas, which was crucial,” said North Greenbush Supervisor Joe Bott.
The milestones come as the county has seen lower and stable numbers for new daily cases. The federal CDC has also removed the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people.
Along with the testing, the county has also operated a Point Of Distribution (POD) at Hudson Valley Community College to provide vaccinations, and also operated a number of Community Vaccination Clinics at locations throughout the county.