Assemblyman D. Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake, and staff members from his office distributed COVID-19 testing kits to essential workers last weekend.

“There are people who have been working throughout the pandemic, who have been essential, like those who work at grocery stores and convenient stores who were not able to take the time out of their schedules to wait in line to get a testing kit,” Jones said in a press release. “These are people who worked the front lines every day. It’s important that everyone, especially essential workers, have access to COVID-19 tests to help keep our communities safe.”

Jones also provided personal protective equipment, testing kits and other essential supplies to the United Way of the Adirondacks to make sure that vulnerable populations also have access to the resources they need, according to Connie Mandeville, community liaison for Jones’s office.

While Jones was working in Albany, the assemblyman’s staff resumed the work Monday distributing test kits throughout both Clinton and Franklin counties. Test kits were distributed at various grocery stores including Price Chopper in Malone and Yando’s Big M in Plattsburgh.

Mandeville said that kits were also distributed to the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country, MHAB, the Champlain Valley Family Center, the YMCA, Citizen Advocates, Senior Citizens Council of Clinton County, and Catholic Charities.

“When you are already struggling to put a roof over your head and food on your tables, or are working hard to stay in recovery, or are responsible for taking care of everyone’s kids while they are at work, the last thing you need to stress over is trying to find COVID-19 testing kits,” Jones said. “These are the organizations that are out in the trenches taking care of the North Country’s most vulnerable and it is the least I can do to make sure that they have COVID-19 tests as positive cases continue to increase across the region.”

The supplies that were distributed in both Franklin and Clinton counties are additional state-issued supplies that were advocated for and are not affiliated with any pre-existing state issued site, according to Jones.

“The counties and municipalities have done a great job so far distributing COVID-19 testing kits,” Jones said, “but they only had a limited supply. I will continue to advocate for more testing kits and other important resources to make sure that our municipalities and school districts have what they need to keep our communities safe.”

More COVID-19 testing kits will be distributed by Jones and his staff this week. For residents unable to receive one at this time, there are new state-issued testing sites in both Malone and Plattsburgh to respond to the extremely high number of COVID-19 cases.

For more information on state-run testing and vaccination sites, visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov.

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