ITHACA, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department announced Jan. 5 via a press release that it has received 4,600 COVID-19 self-test kits made available by New York State. The test kits are being distributed through local municipalities, and each municipality will also receive 500 single-use KN95 masks to be distributed with test kits.

No prescription is needed to obtain a self-test kit and kits have recently become more widely available for purchase locally.

Self-test kits should be conducted according to the manufacturer instructions on the packaging, and more information can be found on the TCHD website.

The TCHD supplies the following guidance on how and when to test:

  • Consider testing before gatherings or events with others and during or after travel.
  • Wash hands thoroughly and clean the surface you’ll be using during your self-test.
  • Take the test as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions and use a timer to be accurate.
  • If the test is positive, isolate and report your result to TCHD using the online reporting form.

Additional self-test kits have been delivered to schools and distributed to families by BOCES.

“Thank you to our community partners for assisting us in distributing 40,000 masks to those they serve, ensuring equitable distribution of essential health supplies. We plan to continue to communicate directly with municipalities, schools and agencies throughout the county should further supplies become available, to expedite their delivery to those most in need,” Amie Hendrix, deputy Tompkins County administrator stated in the press release.

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...