Onondaga County Executive wants Walmart’s COVID-19 testing site to focus on nursing home workers

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Onondaga County Executive has more clarity on the surprise testing site that popped up in the parking lot of the East Syracuse Walmart.

County Executive Ryan McMahon didn’t know about the site until it started getting set up on Tuesday.

McMahon says that any additional testing needs to happen in coordination with his government’s health department.

Thursday, McMahon had a phone call with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics, the partners supporting the site. The companies are working in partnership with the federal government.

McMahon described the call as productive and he feels the companies “learned their lesson” for failing to communicate.

To better strategize, McMahon requested the opening date of Thursday or Friday to be pushed back. State Troopers, who are directing traffic at the site, are tentatively planning for it to open on Saturday.

McMahon says he’s requesting the testing site to focus on proactively testing nursing home workers, to catch the virus in its early stages and before it spreads with nursing homes.

Members of the public who want to be tested need a doctor’s approval based on symptoms, as is the case to be tested anywhere in Onondaga County.

Walmart didn’t respond to NewsChannel 9’s request for information for two days.

Thursday, the company confirmed the testing site, with this response: “Walmart is part of the East Syracuse community, and we are proud to help support the expansion of COVID-19 testing during this unprecedented time. We are grateful to our associates who keep our stores running, our pharmacists who support these testing sites, and to Quest and local officials as we work together to open the site and help our community.”


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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan.

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