Walmart sets up COVID-19 testing site outside East Syracuse store without telling county executive, health commissioner

Local News

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — East Syracuse Walmart customers were likely the first to find out about a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site located in its Bridge Street parking lot.

That’s because according to County Executive Ryan McMahon, “there’s been no coordination with our health department yet.”

McMahon was asked about the site at his daily briefing, which is set to become Onondaga County’s second drive-thru COVID-19 testing site.

As of Tuesday, the testing site did not appear operational, but barricades and cones were set up to form traffic lanes. McMahon said he was planning to speak with Walmart executives to learn more about the site.

Walmart has not responded to NewsChannel 9’s request for comment, which was made via email around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday.

McMahon explained the call would be to ensure the same testing procedures and criteria used by the county are used at the East Syracuse Walmart site.

Signs outside the testing site direct people to register at, a website run and operated by Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics, a private laboratory with locations across the U.S., has been a major source of COVID-19 tests nationwide.

Back in March, the company introduced a lab-developed test for COVID-19 available to health care providers. The molecular test detects nucleic acid of the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens.

The website posted at the Walmart testing site indicates that a doctor will decide who gets tested.

Business Insider has reported that Walmart, in partnership with Quest Diagnostics and the Federal Government, is planning to open 20 testing sites in 10 states.

McMahon said he didn’t know if East Syracuse was part of that plan.

Quest Diagnostics was the previous vendor that processed tests at Onondaga County’s first testing side at the Syracuse Community Health Center but was discontinued after experiencing long wait times for results.

The Syracuse Community Health Center uses a new vendor, which McMahon said has returned results more quickly.

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

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