Even though we are rapidly approaching the two year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance continues to change regularly, locally, statewide, and beyond.  Ulster County has announced that they are taking measures in an effort to allow local schools and businesses to remain safely open, while at the same time, increasing testing capacity in the county.

A State of Emergency was declared by County Executive Ryan last week due to the increasing number of positive cases, Ulster's highest since April 2021. The declaration also comes after rising hospitalization rates in the county.

On Friday, December 9th, County Executive Pat Ryan announced that Ulster County has secured 33,000 at-home rapid testing kits. They will be provided at no cost to residents, ensuring fair and equitable access to vital testing resources.

Each kit that will be distributed has two 'quick view tests' and provide results in about 15 minutes. Users will use a shallow nasal swab to complete the test. The county plans to continually announce various distribution points, with December 20th being identified as the next announcement date. Residents are being told to contact city or town hall to coordinate testing kit pickup. More information for Ulster County residents can be found here.

In addition to the at-home testing kits, Ulster County will continue their vaccination PODs, with appointments available for first, second, and booster doses of the vaccine.

Not only will Ulster County be offering the at-home kits and vaccination PODs, but the county just also announced they are going to be receiving a second school specialist from New York State to assist with streamlining contact tracing for schools in Ulster County.

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