Assemblyman Jones Visits Saranac Lake Area with Local Government Leaders to Distribute COVID-19 Tests to Businesses and Nonprofits

On his way home from Albany on Wednesday, Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) stopped in Saranac Lake to hand deliver COVID-19 tests to local businesses and nonprofits. County Legislator Lindy Ellis and Deputy Mayor Melinda Little joined the assemblyman for his deliveries. Over the past week, Jones and his staff have delivered close to 1,000 COVID-19 testing kits throughout Clinton and Franklin Counties.

During his time in Saranac Lake, Jones delivered COVID-19 testing kits to Nori’s Village Market, Stewarts, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center, the Saranac Lake Youth Center, and North Country Healthy Heart Network among other places as part of his overall efforts to help essential workers who have been working throughout the pandemic get tests as well as the North Country’s most vulnerable.

“Workers at grocery stores and convenience stores are people who worked the frontlines every day,” said Assemblyman Jones.“So do organizations that help our most vulnerable. It’s important that these organizations and essential workers have access to testing kits as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the North Country as they continue to work the frontlines.”

“I and Deputy Mayor Melinda Little are glad to join Assemblyman Billy Jones in handing out ‘at home’ COVID-19 testing kits to community facing workers and the Saranac Lake Youth Center,” said County Legislator Lindy Ellis.

“St. Joseph’s is very appreciative of Assemblyman Jones’s providing additional home COVID test kits that we can distribute to our staff,” said Bob Ross, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center. “This is a great example of local elected officials helping health care agencies keep their staff, and therefore their clients, healthy during the challenges we are all facing during COVID-19. Assemblyman Jones has consistently been a strong supporter of addiction treatment and mental health services and his personal attention to delivering these test kits is one more example of this commitment.”

“I want to thank the assemblyman for thinking of Nori’s when delivering COVID-19 testing kits around Saranac Lake,” said Andy Keal, co-owner of Nori’s Village Market. “Our employees have been on the frontline and those who received the tests were very appreciative.”

This weekend, the assemblyman handed out testing kits throughout the district. On Saturday, the assemblyman also delivered PPE and essential supplies to the United Way of the Adirondacks to make sure that vulnerable populations also have access to the resources they need. The Assemblyman’s office delivered testing kits earlier this week throughout Clinton and Franklin counties while the assemblyman was working in Albany. They distributed the testing kits at grocery stores such as Yando’s Big M in Plattsburgh and Price Chopper in Malone. Tests were also distributed to the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country, MHAB, the Champlain Valley Family Center, the YMCA, Catholic Charities and several other places as well.

“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,” said Jones. It’s the least I can do to make sure that they have COVID-19 tests to help keep our communities safe.”

Assemblyman Jones is wrapping up his COVID-19 testing kit distribution for now but is continuing to advocate for more testing supplies for the North Country. “Everyone so far has done a great job distributing COVID-19 testing kits,” said Jones, “but we’ve 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 the resources they need as our region continues to see so many COVID-19 cases. I also want to reiterate that getting vaccinated is the best defense against COVID-19 and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated and to get their booster shots.