Testing, Travel Advisory, 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.

Starting in June, our department will be offering free Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid, molecular testing on Mondays at our office in Elizabethtown. To make an appointment, click on the links below.

July 26, 2021,10AM-2PM, Essex County Health Department

Many other local testing opportunities are available. Please see the list below for further details.

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

New York Travel Advisory

Asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another country, U.S. state, or territory are no longer required to test or quarantine as of April 10, 2021. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.

Quarantine, consistent with the CDC recommendations, is still recommended for all travelers who are not *fully vaccinated or have not **recently recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous 3 months. 

Irrespective of quarantine, all travelers must:

  • Monitor symptoms daily from day of arrival in New York through day 14;
  • Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated); and
  • Must immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

*Fully vaccinated is defined as being 2 or more weeks after the final dose (e.g., first for Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, second for Pfizer and Moderna) of the vaccine approved by the FDA or authorized by the FDA for emergency use. Vaccines that are not authorized by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use or approved by the FDA do not satisfy this definition.

**Recently recovered is defined as 1) recovered from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 by meeting the criteria for discontinuation of isolation, 2) within the 3-month period between date of arrival in New York and either the initial onset of symptoms related to the laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection or, if asymptomatic during the illness, the date of the laboratory confirmed test, and 3) asymptomatic after travel or new exposure.

For more information on domestic and/or international travel guidance visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

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.

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].

If you are identified as a ‘contact’ because you were exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and you meet New York State exposure criteria, you will receive a Health Order of Quarantine from Essex County Health Department [if you live in Essex County].

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 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

What to do if you are sick with Coronavirus

New Paid Leave for COVID-19_

Additional Paid Leave Supplemental Guidance 1.20.2021

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


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).

General Information and Trusted Sources

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

New York State Regional Monitoring Dashboard

NY Forward Reopening Guide

Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Coronavirus

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

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.

Information for Healthcare Providers