The Cayuga County Health Department has distributed rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to several community partners for distribution, and vaccines for the monkeypox virus are now available at East Hill Medical Center in Auburn.
The COVID-19 tests are the iHealth Rapid Antigen brand, which are packaged in a box of two tests per box, and the health department notes that the Federal Drug Administration has extended the expiration dates of these at-home test kits, which has been updated on each box.
Cayuga County residents are welcome to go to one of the following libraries or town/village offices to pick up these free COVID-19 tests:
• Seymour Library (Auburn)
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• Springport Library (Union Springs)
If you test positive with a home test, continue to follow the current isolation guidance:
• Stay home and isolate from others for 5 days where day 0 is the day symptoms began or the day you took the test
• You can return to normal activity on day 6 if your symptoms are improving and you have been fever-free for at least 24-hours
• You must wear a mask around others day 6 through day 10
If you are feeling sick, you should seek testing for not just COVID-19, but other respiratory illnesses like flu and RSV. If your symptoms are worsening or you are immunocompromised, seek health care because there are treatment options available for severe illness.
For more information, contact the Cayuga County Health Department at (315) 253-1560 or cayugacounty.us/health. Be sure to like and follow the Cayuga County Health Department on Facebook and Instagram for updates and information as well.
The health department has also received doses of the monkeypox vaccine (JYNNEOS) and East Hill Medical Center has agreed to provide the vaccine to those in need.
JYNNEOS is a 2-dose vaccine, with the second dose being given four weeks after the first. The vaccine is free and available to anyone who has been exposed or who might be exposed in the future. While insurance may be billed, there is no charge to the individual.
To schedule your appointment, call East Hill Medical Center at (315) 612-3440.
According to the health department, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus which is part of the same family of the virus that causes smallpox. It typically causes mild illness, but some cases can be severe enough to result in hospitalization and/or death.
The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Some or all of the following symptoms may be present:
• Rash, pimple-like pustules or scabs that may be located near genitals or anus and may also be located on hands, mouth, feet and torso.
• Fever, chills, body aches
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, skin-to-skin contact, so avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Do not touch rash or scabs, and do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
Avoid contact with objects and materials that an infected person used, and do not share eating utensils, cups or bottles and do not touch bedding, towels, or clothing of an infected person. Wash your hands often, especially before touching your face and after you use the bathroom.