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Samaritan Designated a New York State COVID-19 Collection Site

Published on: July 13, 2020

WATERTOWN, NY – Samaritan Medical Center has been designated a New York State-sponsored COVID-19 collection site, one of six in the North Country region.

The partnership allows Samaritan access to a third-party laboratory service, BioReference, which will process many COVID-19 test specimens at no cost to patients or Samaritan. The state will provide additional testing supplies, test kits, and personal protective equipment to Samaritan, as needed. A shipment has already been received. Samaritan will provide all staff needed to collect the specimens through our existing drive-up testing location on outer Washington Street in Watertown. We will schedule appointments through our website, provide trained staff to perform the tests, and the laboratory support to process the specimens.

This free testing will be prioritized on a first come, first serve basis and any community member with an interest to be tested can be scheduled as long as supplies are available. Samaritan is set to receive 300 kits per week. Requests for testing must be done online at, after which a staff member will call to schedule an appointment. Test results are available within three to five days, as this is not rapid testing. Community members who provide a cell phone number will be notified of their results via text message, and those who provide a landline will receive a call.

“Samaritan is pleased to be working with the state to provide a collection site for our region,” said M. Andrew Short, vice president and COO of Samaritan. “North Country hospitals and health systems across a seven-county region worked together to create this model to enhance access to COVID-19 testing throughout northern New York. With the next closest collection site located in Rome, New York, this access is critical to contain the pandemic in our region and keep costs low for those that require testing for their employment.”

The other state-sponsored test sites are Adirondack Health (Franklin and Essex Counties), Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (Clinton County), Canton-Potsdam Hospital (St. Lawrence County), Hudson Headwaters Health Network (Essex and Hamilton Counties), and Lewis County General Hospital (Lewis County).

Samaritan will begin accepting state collection appointment requests on Monday, July 13, and appointments will be scheduled for as soon as Wednesday, July 15.

Samaritan’s expanded testing efforts will continue for the foreseeable future. For the most up-to-date information regarding Samaritan’s testing availability, visit

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