Appeared in both the Putnam Examiner and Putnam County Times.
Putnam County is the eye of the storm. With more than 17,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Westchester and thousands more in Rockland, Orange and Dutchess counties, Putnam County is in the middle of one of thehardest-hit regions in the country.
Despite the potential for exposure facing Putnam County residents, the state has failed to locate a drive-through testing facility here. Instead, it’s established several locations serving surrounding counties and shifted its responsibility to provide this critically-important service tothe county health department and overburdened local property taxpayers.
Drive-through testing is an important element of thestate’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, because it significantly reduces the potential spread of the virus by symptomatic people who seek testing at local healthcare facilities. As we try to prevent rising infection rates in Putnam County, the state must ensure county residents have every possible resource to help contain the virus and keep people safe.
I applaud Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and county health officials for filling this void with Tuesday’s temporary drive-through testing center, but they were only provided 100 testing kits which isn’t nearly enough. New York State can, and must, do more to protect Putnam County residents from unnecessary exposure. If Albany continues to wait, more of our families will be put at risk.
Chele Chiavacci Farley
Republican and Conservative candidate for NY’s 18th Congressional District
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