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Samaritan Introduces COVID-19 Testing Option for Community Members with No Symptoms

Published on: October 20, 2021

Watertown, NY – Samaritan’s Drive-Up COVID-19 Testing Site is now offering PCR testing for a fee to individuals with no symptoms, including those worried about an exposure or who need a test for travel purposes. The testing site, located at 1575 Washington Street, has been providing medically necessary tests to patients for months and is excited to expand its services to asymptomatic community members in need of a test.

All appointments for non-symptomatic PCR testing must be made online at: and the $100 fee must be paid for with a credit card. A PCR test is not a rapid test, but it is the most accurate test available for COVID-19. All tests will be processed at Samaritan Medical Center with results available in 24-48 hours. Negative results will be texted to patients and full results can be accessed or printed via a secure online patient portal.

When making an online appointment, patients will be asked a series of questions and will be able to choose an appointment date and time before paying with a credit card. Some insurance companies will not pay for COVID-19 testing that is not medically necessary, because a patient does not have symptoms. Testing for recreational or travel purposes is not deemed medically necessary.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 will be instructed to call the Samaritan Resource Line at 315-755-3100 and talk to a nurse for further care and instructions. Symptomatic individuals may receive expedited testing that is typically covered by insurance.

This new testing option allows patients to be tested for any reason and cover the cost themselves. In many cases, patients can use their Flexible Spending and/or Health Savings Accounts to cover the cost, but a credit card is required.

“More testing options are critical to minimizing exposure and decreasing our region’s positivity rate,” said Samaritan President and CEO Thomas Carman. “We must also encourage all eligible patients to become vaccinated, wear a mask when in public, wash their hands and socially distance when possible. The COVID-19 virus is still very prevalent in our area.”

At this time, PCR testing appointments are available Wednesday through Saturday. If demand increases, more appointments will be opened. Those arriving at the Drive-Up Testing Site for their appointment should follow all signs and remain in their car at all times.

There are many testing options across the region and Samaritan encourages community members to seek the testing option that best suits them. The Emergency Department should not be used for routine testing, it is for those with severe symptoms of COVID-19.