Demand for masks & at home tests brings people to a hand out event

Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - “You can’t find one anywhere because everyone is just grabbing them right up,” said Donna Oakes.

Oakes is talking about COVID-19 at home testing kits, something she hasn’t been able to find in stores.

She and dozens of other area residents waited in a long line at the West Carthage Fire Hall to get their hands on a free kit. Jefferson County received about 5,000 of them from the state.

“Tt helps a lot of people that are nervous about this disease, people just want to know for sure what’s going on,” said Oakes.

Each person received one kit which includes two tests.

“I think it’s very important, we have had some family sickness with it, and I just prefer that we can keep everyone safe,” said Donna Gamble.

West Carthage was one of six departments in the county chosen to distribute tests on Saturday.

Some have an excess and more are coming.

County leaders say more shipments from the state will arrive over the next few weeks.

All 14 fire departments in Lewis County were also distributing free testing kits and masks.

Long lines of people braced the elements in Lowville to get their share.

“I just bought one test. When I finally found it, I think it was twenty dollars. So right now, I have got eight tests for the household that I can make sure everybody is safe or if someone else needs them, I have them in excess,” said Jennifer Condrey.

Lewis County Manager Ryan Piche says the county was able to provide more than 9,000 kits. Many of them bought with county funds to make sure anyone who wanted a test could get one.

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