Elmira, N.Y., October 10—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today applauded New York’s move to provide COVID-19 rapid testing to every county in the state.
O’Mara said that the more widespread availability of rapid testing will be an important tool for public health departments and hospitals in counties experiencing spikes in COVID-19 positive cases, including Chemung and Steuben, to conduct surveillance testing to help control new outbreaks. He said that rapid testing can also be a great benefit for nursing homes, schools, and other workplaces.
Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement late yesterday that the state Department of Health (DOH) will “deploy an initial 400,000 rapid result test kits free of charge to local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers to help increase access in all of corners of New York State to free COVID-19 tests that can be done within 15 minutes and without having to send a specimen to a lab.”
The DOH will prioritize the distribution to counties and local health care providers in areas seeing a recent rise in cases.
O’Mara said, “It’s a good move by Governor Cuomo. We have been urging the administration to prioritize the distribution of COVID-19 tests here in the Southern Tier where local public health departments are very concerned about the recent rise in cases. It will significantly improve the timeliness, efficiency, effectiveness and availability of our COVID-19 testing and response capacity.”