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Leaders welcome formal announcement of retail testing in Niagara Falls & Buffalo


Fri, May 8th 2020 01:25 pm

Rite Aid testing sites to open May 11

Local leaders welcomed the formal announcement by Rite Aid of 46 additional COVID-19 testing sites across the country, including at two of the company’s locations in the Cities of Niagara Falls and Buffalo, scheduled to open on Monday, May 11.

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “Access to testing has been a longstanding issue. The expansion of retail and government testing is critical to reopening our economy and will allow residents to make informed choices to better protect their families, co-workers and to limit community spread.”

Higgins, City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino and Niagara County Legislature Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso led a push last week for testing sites in the City of Niagara Falls, which represents approximately a quarter of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Niagara County. Higgins’ office also reached out to retail sites contracting with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to advocate for the establishment of testing sites in Western New York’s hardest-hit areas.

“Niagara Falls has been the center of the COVID-19 crisis in Niagara County, despite that fact our repeated pleas for increased diagnostic testing for the city have been to no avail,” Restaino said. “With the regions of New York state hoping to reopen soon, Niagara Falls remained without adequate testing. Congressman Higgins heard my request for help and did something about it. His effort in joining myself and our county legislators from Niagara Falls to advocate for testing has resulted in this increased opportunity to map the spread of the virus in the city. I know on behalf of all public officials representing Niagara Falls, we thank Congressman Higgins for his strong advocacy in this health crisis and we are grateful to the Rite Aid Corporation for delivering testing to our center city.”

Virtuoso added, "Getting additional testing into urban communities is critically important. I was pleased to work alongside Congressman Higgins, Mayor Restaino and my colleagues in the County Legislature to advocate for this kind of testing right here in the heart of Niagara Falls."

As of May 5, Erie County had 3,939 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 322 confirmed cases in 14215, nearly double that of other ZIP codes. Niagara County currently has 664 confirmed cases with 156 located in the City of Niagara Falls.

Testing at the two Rite Aid locations will be available seven days a week to everyone over age 18 including those who are asymptomatic. The self-swab tests are administered via the drive-thru and overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists.

Congress approved legislation to ensure testing would be provided at no cost to consumers regardless of their insurance. Residents interested in taking a test must pre-register to schedule a testing time at: www.riteaid.com.

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