Testing, Contact Tracing, Isolation, Quarantine & More


COVID-19 Diagnostic and Antibody Testing – Essex County has diagnostic and antibody testing capacity. Several locations within the North Country region are able to provide testing.

Antibody tests are not diagnostic; negative results do not rule out active current COVID-19 infection. Positive results may be due to past or present infection. Please contact your primary care provider to determine if antibody testing is available and/or appropriate given your situation.

The NY Forward Rapid Test Program is a public-private partnership designed to expand rapid testing sites across New York State. The new easily accessible rapid test sites will follow all safety protocols and guidelines and will have a quick turnaround time, with results available within 30 minutes. Tests will be available to all New Yorkers for no more than $30.

To be eligible for a NY Forward Rapid Test Program test, consumers must NOT:

  • be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
  • have been exposed to a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 within the last 10 days or be currently obligated to quarantine under New York State Department of Health guidelines;
  • have received a positive COVID-19 test result in the past 10 days.

For more information on the NY Forward Rapid Test Program – click here

Contact Tracing

Health Orders of Isolation or Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine orders help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

  • Isolation –  separates ill/infected people with a contagious disease from people who are not ill/infected.
  • Quarantine –  separates and/or restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Essex County Health Department is responsible for issuing and maintaining isolation and quarantine orders and subsequently discontinuing those orders, when appropriate.

Anyone placed under an isolation or quarantine order receives daily follow-up and monitoring from the health department. Individuals placed under isolation are ​currently those with ​a lab confirmed case ​or those diagnosed through a clinical evaluation as a suspect case of COVID-19.  Individuals placed under quarantine are those with known recent international travel or known close or proximate contact with someone who has a confirmed (via lab test) ​or suspect case of COVID-19. Individuals who are seen by a healthcare provider for COVID-19 symptoms ​and receive the recommendation to ​”self-isolate​” because of suspect COVID-19 or a pending COVID-19 test, should follow these instructions while awaiting test results or further direction from the health department. Self-isolation means:

  • stay at home
  • separate yourself from other members in the home; use a separate bedroom and bathroom
  • do not go to work, school or public areas
  • do not use public transport like buses, trains, or taxis
  • avoid visitors to your home

Ideally, self-isolation should also be adopted by anyone who is living with someone who has symptoms of the Coronavirus.

These are the best tools we have to flatten the curve, reduce the spread, and balance hospital capacity with need, short of testing everyone with symptoms.

CDC – Disinfecting your Home if Someone is Sick – click here

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will receive a Health Order of Isolation from Essex County Health Department [if you live in Essex County].

New Paid Leave Guidance for those affected by COVID-19 – click here

New York Travel Advisory

As of Thursday, June 25, 2020, if you have traveled from within a state with significant community spread, you must quarantine for 14 days when you enter New York State.

Currently, the following states meet the criteria for required quarantine based upon a seven day rolling average, of positive tests in excess of 10%, or number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents:

To view the current states that meet criteria for required quarantine click here

For more information or to view the complete travel advisory guidance click here

To file a report of an individual failing to adhere to the quarantine pursuant to the travel advisory, please call 1-833-789-0470 or visit https://mylicense.custhelp.com/app/ask.

If you are issued a Health Order of Isolation or Quarantine:

If you are identified as a contact of someone who has COVID-19 you will receive a Health Order of Quarantine from Essex County Health Department [if you live in Essex County].

Taking care of Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Local Info!

What to do if you are sick with Coronavirus

General Information and Trusted Sources

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) – Coronavirus Updates – click here

New York State Regional Monitoring Dashboard – click here

NY Forward Reopening Guide – click here

Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Coronavirus – click here

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) – COVID-19 FAQ – click here


All people should use prevention strategies to reduce their chances of getting any virus, this also pertains to COVID-19.

  • Stay home if you are sick. Call your health care provider for additional guidance;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and immediately discard it. If a tissue is not available, use the inside of your elbow;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth;
  • Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick;
  • Get the flu shot (at this time, there is no current vaccination for Coronavirus).

For more information about how to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, visit the New York State Department of Health Coronavirus website at www.health.ny.gov/coronavirus or call the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline: 1-888-364-3065.

Cleaning and Disinfection Instructions of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19 – click here

Vulnerable Populations

Elderly and Immune Compromised Individuals – New York State has enacted a law referred to a “Matilda’s Law” which includes guidelines for those over 70 years of age and/or those with compromised immune systems. Guidelines are as follows:

  • Remain indoors;
  • Go outside only for solitary exercise;
  • Pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking their temperature and seeing if person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms;
  • Do not visit households with multiple people;
  • Wear a mask when in the company of others;
  • To the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask;
  • Always stay at least six feet away from individuals; and
  • Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary.

Pregnant Women – With Coronavirus being a new illness, much is unknown as to whether pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick or having a serious illness as a result from COVID-19 than the general public. Additional resources for Pregnant People and their Families is available – click here

Children – Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. The cause of MIS-C is still unknown, however, we know that many children with MIS-C had COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, but most children diagnosed with this condition have recovered with medical care. For more information on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 – click here

Community Resources

Determining Essential vs. Non Essential employees – guidelines – click here

For information on NY Forward reopening or specific industry guidelines – click here

Information for Healthcare Providers