CORNING – Congressman Tom Reed and Quest Diagnostics, in collaboration with regional officials and local health care providers, announced a new commitment Thursday that they say will dramatically boost testing capacity and kits in the region.
Reed says the additional testing capacity will be vital to servicing the community’s health needs and exceeding the reopening benchmarks the Governor has mandated regions of Western New York reach by May 15.
Quest Diagnostics announced an ability and commitment to provide the following supplemental testing resources to expand and grow western New York’s existing testing capacity. The commitment details include:
An initial quantity of 3,000 tests per day, which over top of existing capacity will exceed the reopening standards covering 3 million people in New York.
These resources will be provided to service the unmet demand of the following three regions as defined in the State of New York’s reopening plan: Southern Tier, The Finger Lakes, and Western New York.
Quest is ready to begin providing this testing capacity as early as May 18th, with supplies shipped out in coordination with local health providers multiple times per week to meet the interregional demand of the three areas outlined above. This capacity would not be allocated to a single region over another, but rather be available for rapid deployment to specific locations or communities across the area that need to quickly assess the emergence of new COVID hotspots.
“In any crisis, cooperation, coordination, and communication are absolutely essential,” said Reed. “We applaud Quest Diagnostics for stepping up and working with us over the last few weeks to develop a regional testing capacity solution because I care about the health and safety of our communities. It is only fair that the public have full transparency into the actions being taken to tackle the COVID crisis head on.”
Reed continued, “This announcement is a critical component of the region’s efforts to demonstrate to Albany that we have the resources in place to reopen as soon as possible. Now that this critical benchmark has been overcome, I truly believe there is no reason why our region should not be opened on May 15, 2020.”
According to Governor Cuomo’s reopening dashboard earlier this week, the number of residents tested per month is an important metric region’s must meet in order to begin reopening.
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel, NYSAC President Jack Marren, Corning Inc. Government Affairs Director Dawn Burlew, Cayuga Health System President/CEO Martin Stallone, and Quest Diagnostics Regional Vice President Geoff Albrecht all joined the announcement call earlier today to provide additional information.