NCCC COVID-19 testing site opens today

Apr 29, 2020

Niagara County will be getting a major testing station Wednesday, with the state Health Department establishing a drive-thru operation on the grounds of Niagara County Community College.

County Legislature Chair Becky Wydysh said Albany has not said how long the station will operate and it is not for everyone to just show up to be tested. The state requires tests will go only to people who pre-register and meet the parameters.

"We don't know how long that testing site will be on location," Wydysh said. "We know in other areas of the state they've been there for several days in a row, some as long as 2-3 weeks. But, again, we do not know what the anticipated timeframe is here. We have not been told that yet."

Even so, Wydysh said this is a sign that a lot of testing is occurring to give data on COVID-19's penetration in the county.

"We are now making progress. So, of course, we thank the state Department of Health for coming in to run those different testing sites," she said. "Testing being done is a key compontent in the unpausing of New York, according to the governor, so this is certainly a step in the right direction. We then need that good data still to make good safe decisions for our businesses as we look at reopening."

Wydysh said there continues to be good news in the statistics, as the county confirmed 428 diagnosed cases of the virus.

"The good news being 199 people have recovered. This is always what we want to hear. It shows that people can recover and do. The large percentage of individuals who do test positive will be okay and recover," she said. "But, of course, that now brings us to a total of 22 COVID-19-related deaths here in Niagara County."

Wydysh described the latest death as a 70-year-old man with pre-existing health conditions. She said 207 residents are in isolation, 188 isolating at home and 19 in hospital isolation.

This test for current cases follows state coronvirus antibody testing in Niagara Falls. That is testing to determine who has been exposed to the virus without being sick enough to be treated. Preliminary antibody testing found more than 7% of those tested in Western New York were positive for the virus.