CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Towns and villages across Onondaga County handed out thousands of free at-home Covid-19 test kits and masks to neighbors Wednesday. The county had given each municipality a limited supply based on population.
The town of Clay distributed its first round of tests and masks to residents Wednesday morning. Neighbors like Sharon Rachetta of Clay say she’s been playing it safe through the pandemic.
“I haven’t stopped wearing double masks and the only place I’m really going is to the grocery store and home,” Rachetta says. “I really like the idea of not having to go out with other people at my age.”
That’s what brought Rachetta to wait in line at the Clay Senior Center.
“I don’t have to go out roaming all over the place to find something,” Rachetta says.
The town of Clay handed out 990 test kits to families. Town supervisor Damian Ulatowski says just 1,000 tests for a population of roughly 60,000 people doesn’t go far, but they’re doing the best they can.
“It’s a good start. I think after this event, and similar events going on across the county right now, we’ll learn the best way to get them out to the most needy,” Ulatowski says. “I mean unfortunately we don’t have the services that the county has or the city has with all kinds of, you know, youth centers and senior centers and group homes and everything else they have. We have a senior center. So, we’re trying to do it the best way we can.”
Working with limited supply, Ulatowski hopes they can help even more Clay residents when more at-home tests come in. Onondaga County is expecting thousands of more test kits from the state by the end of the week.
“I expect to get an equal amount to what we have now, if not greater, and because we are sort of taking attendance, we’ll make sure we get those who haven’t already got one, to be first in line next time,” Ulatowski says.
Some people showed up almost two hours ahead of the event to get their hands on a test kit and a bag of ten KN95 masks. Some neighbors we spoke with say it helps make them feel more comfortable as we head into the new year.
“[I’m] picking up a kit so that my wife could get tested before we go see my mother in law who is 84 and we want to make sure that she is safe so that we can go down to visit her,” Charles Janovsky of Clay says.
“I can’t wait. I’ll feel so safe, especially with my grandchildren, you know that they’re protected.”Rachetta adds.
Other villages in Onondaga County have already distributed their first round of supplies Wednesday as well. Each town and village is doing things differently, so it’s best to check in with where you live.