Home     Hot Topics     Home and Family    

Should I be tested? Or not? Mid-Hudson Valley expands testing sites for COVID-19

Let's take the mystery out of COVID-19 testing.

Find a COVID-19 test site in the Hudson Valley

Last night I had dinner in my backyard with friends of mine. We practiced social distancing. They brought their dinner, complete with utensils, and we brought ours. Jeff mentioned that he was tested for Covid-19, although he is sure he doesn't have it. His wife chose not to.

I thought that this is a good time to take the mystery out of all the tests being offered relating to Covid-19. Although we have seen lots of articles that state it is important to be tested, there are also questions about what type of tests are best for you and members of your family.

There are basically 4 types of testing being offered. There are three types of COVID-19 tests: diagnostic (or PCR), antibody (or serum) and antigen.

Diagnostic tests were the first COVID-19 tests available and identifies active infections. These tests check samples from your respiratory system (such as swabs of the inside of the nose) to tell you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

A PCR test is a blood test that detects genetic material from the virus and can help diagnose an active COVID-19 infection. PCR tests can be incredibly accurate but running the tests and analyzing the results can take time.

An antibody test is a blood test that looks for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies can be found in the blood of people who are tested after infection and show that people have had an immune response to the infection. Antibody test results are especially important for detecting previous infections with few or no symptoms.

Antigen tests are a new type of diagnostic test designed for rapid detection of the virus that causes COVID-19. Each category of diagnostic test has its own unique role in the fight against this virus. One of the main advantages of an antigen test is the speed of the test, which can provide results in minutes. However, antigen tests may not detect all active infections, as they do not work the same way as a PCR test. Antigen tests are very specific for the virus but are not as sensitive as molecular PCR tests. This means that positive results from antigen tests are highly accurate, but there is a higher chance of false negatives, so negative results do not rule out infection. With this in mind, negative results from an antigen test may need to be confirmed with a PCR test prior to making treatment decisions or to prevent the possible spread of the virus due to a false negative.

We suggest that you consult your primary healthcare provider to discuss testing and evaluate whether testing is appropriate for you or any of your family members.

Both the state and counties have been expanding the number of companies offering these tests and the number of sites, See the mid-Hudson county sites for information on when, where to get tested.

As testing facility locations increase, and the test itself becomes more available, those in the Mid-Hudson Valley can request a test whether they have symptoms or not.

County government websites (see below) now list their site locations and specific information on how to acquire a test. If you suspect you might have contracted COVID-19, you may want to call your doctor for specific guidance first.

New York State has placed a Covid-19 Screening Survey on their website, which may help you decide whether or not a test is necessary.

Keep in mind the CDC’s list of possible symptoms, and the time that they may occur. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include:
  • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever 
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
Also visit the CDC for detailed information on how the tests are administered, and what you can expect during your visit.

Here are the testing sites for the COVID-19 virus in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Sullivan counties. Since they are updated frequently, check back for the latest information.

Orange County: |

Ulster County: 

Dutchess County:

Sullivan County: 

Putnam County: