HealthThe Putnam Examiner

Putnam to Reduce COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics, Testing Sites

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With the number of COVID-19 cases dropping and demand for vaccines and tests decreasing, Putnam County is reducing vaccine clinics and testing sites.

Dr. Michael J. Nesheiwat, Putnam County Commissioner of Health

The Putnam Department of Health set up its first COVID vaccine clinic in January 2021 and has administered 25,392 vaccines since then. In the vaccine clinic scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 1, only 53 people signed up.

“Because the cases and positivity rate are dropping, people are now, unfortunately, not worrying about getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Michael J. Nesheiwat, Putnam County Commissioner of Health. “By the time we finish our next two clinics, the demand will be able to be managed by the pharmacies and community providers.”

Ambulnz, the county’s new partner, set up COVID tests sites in Carmel and Philipstown during the height of the Omicron surge, enabling residents on both sides of Putnam to get tested.

At the height of the Omicron surge, Ambulnz administered 600 to 700 COVID tests per day. From Jan. 23 to Jan. 25, only 154 tests were given.

“Pharmacies across the county were out of rapid test kits, community medical providers were completely overwhelmed by the demand for tests and the federal and state governments were dragging their feet in offering help to a small county like ours,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “Then Ambulnz stepped in and within days they were running a highly efficient, professional testing operation. Without our partnership with Ambulnz, our residents would have had to travel a great distance to get tested, and who knows how many more COVID cases could have resulted from that impediment to easy testing?”

In addition to vaccine clinics in Philipstown and Carmel, the Health Department has regularly held clinics in places where immigrants and other hard to reach populations could access them. The department also vaccinated the homebound in partnership with the Department of Social Services.

Should the need arise, Ambulnz is prepared to increase the number of testing days per week and can hold COVID vaccine clinics.

“We are proud to be serving the residents of Putnam County and look forward to our continued partnership to bring healthcare services to those in need,” said Michael Witkowski, Chief of EMS Operations for Ambulnz.

The COVID test site in Carmel will be open on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In Philipstown, the testing site will be open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Department of Health has scheduled its last vaccine clinci for Tuesday, Feb. 8.

For more information on COVID vaccine clinics and COVID testing sites, visit

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