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NFMMC to offer community testing for COVID-19

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Thu, May 7th 2020 04:30 pm

Tests will be available by appointment at multiple sites across Niagara County

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will offer the community diagnostic testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, beginning Monday, May 11.

Drive-thru testing will take place by appointment from 8 a.m. to noon daily on Memorial’s downtown Niagara Falls campus. Afternoon appointments will be available at Niagara County satellite sites from 1-5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

During the week of May 11, the afternoon test site will be behind the Summit Healthplex, 6934 Williams Road, Wheatfield. The following week, beginning May 18, it will take place at NFMMC’s Eastern Niagara County Health Home office, 80 Main St., Lockport.

"As Niagara Falls looks toward reopening our economy, the expansion of diagnostic testing to gather accurate data is critically important,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino. “Working closely with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center throughout this pandemic, I am pleased to know that they will be able to join in the cause to expand testing. And at a time when we all must work together, I am proud that our city hospital is making this testing available to other communities in Niagara County.”

Rep. Brian Higgins also hailed the medical center’s decision to offer COVID-19 testing.

"The federal government plays an important role in helping states identify resources to increase testing for COVID-19. We were pleased to advocate to Gov. Cuomo’s office on behalf of Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, Wheatfield and Lockport residents for better and faster testing throughout Niagara County,” he said. “Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center plays a primary role in promoting wellness and health in Niagara County and we are grateful for the hospital’s leadership in expanding testing available to the community."

Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said the medical center is taking the initiative to provide COVID-19 testing in several areas to help both Niagara Falls and Niagara County meet testing requirements that will enable them to begin reopening.

“We will essentially be conducting testing in the county’s hot spot geographic areas of Niagara Falls, Niagara-Wheatfield/North Tonawanda and the City of Lockport,” Ruffolo said.

Testing will be overseen Dr. Rajinder Bajwa, Memorial’s board-certified infectious disease specialist. He will be assisted by experienced nurses, mid-level providers and physicians from Memorial’s Family Medicine Residency Program. The COVID-19 lab tests will be analyzed by Kaleida Health’s medical laboratory.

Pre-registration is required. Those being tested will be required to call 716-278-4496 to schedule an appointment and to provide a prescription from their primary care physician or other medical provider. A prescription may also be obtained from Bajwa and should be requested from the medical center when scheduling a test appointment.

Health care providers should fax prescription test orders for their patients to 716-278-4061. Due to the volume of tests expected to be ordered, it’s important for people keep their appointments.

“Timely testing and a lot of it is needed to stop the spread of COVID-19, manage its fallout and safely bring business and industry back online,” said Memorial Chief Operating Officer Sheila K. Kee. “Niagara Falls Memorial is dedicated to making that testing widely and easily available.”

“With partners like NFMMC, the city will be able to more accurately track the virus, help stop the spread and move to reopening our economy in a safe and responsible way,” Restaino said.

Drive-thru Diagnostic Testing for COVID-19

•WHO: Tests will be conducted by Memorial Medical Center staff and analyzed by Kaleida Health’s medical laboratory.

•WHEN and WHERE: Daily from 8 a.m. to noon at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center (use Pine Avenue entrance adjacent to Mary B. Dyster Women’s Pavilion)

•WEEK OF MAY 11: Afternoon testing will take place from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday behind the Summit Healthplex in Wheatfield.

•WEEK OF MAY 18: Afternoon testing will take place from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday at 80 Main St., Lockport.

Appointments are required. Call 716- 278-4496 to schedule.

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