ALBANY – New York State is sending hundreds-of-thousands of rapid COVID-19 test kits to counties across the state in an effort to help ramp up testing statewide.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says that 400,000 rapid test kits were dispersed last week in the state.
The kits, some of which was previously distributed to Chautauqua County, enable local health department to measure the prevalence of COVID-19 in the area.
The Chautauqua County Health Department has conducted rapid testing since late September, with spots for the first clinic filling up in just hours.
The biggest pro, according to Chautauqua County Health Department Epidemiologist Breeanne Agett, is that results come back in 15 minutes, however, staff can only serve one person at a time in various intervals.
“In contrast to some of the testing that had been done earlier, like with Feildbrook for example, we swabbed people, put that swab in a viral media tube and shipped that off to a lab so it went along very quickly,” said Agett in a previous interview with WNY News Now. “Whereas with the rapid test we can only schedule one person, per machine, for every 15 minutes, so that’s four people, per machine, per hour, so unfortunately we don’t have as many slots as we would have if we sent it to a lab.”
Those looking to visit nursing homes for example must test negative for COVID-19 prior to their visit.
Once an appointment is scheduled, officials ask residents to come only at their appointment time and not wait around.
Testing will take place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the east parking lot off of Peacock Street at the county office building in Mayville.
Appointments can be made by calling 1-866-604-6789 during business hours, Monday Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Testing is free and available to anyone who makes an appointment.