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Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to perform COVID-19 testing at residential sites

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Tue, May 26th 2020 08:15 pm

Mayor applauds medical center’s collaboration with Housing Authority

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center is expanding its efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Niagara Falls.

Beginning this week, the medical center will collaborate with the Niagara Falls Housing Authority to perform COVID-19 testing at NFHA residential sites. Initial testing will take place Wednesday at the 182-unit Spallino Towers complex on 10th Street, and June 10 at the 250-apartment Wrobel Towers, 800 Niagara Ave.

Testing is scheduled June 3 for residents at Niagara Towers, a privately owned 200-unit apartment complex at 901 Cedar Ave.

“This collaboration between Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and the Niagara Falls Housing Authority is an excellent example of the community cooperation needed to fight COVID-19,” Mayor Robert Restaino said. “I am pleased that our city has been a leader in these collaborative efforts to bring increased testing to our center city population which, in turn, will assist our city in continuing to reopen our economy.”

NFHA Executive Director Clifford Scott said, “We believe this initiative is a positive step in helping the citizens of Niagara Falls realize some sense of normalcy and restoring hope with our most vulnerable populations. I would also like to thank the mayor of Niagara Falls for facilitating the testing of our residents.”

Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said the idea for onsite residential testing came from a statistical analysis of COVID-19 cases treated at the medical center.

“One of the demographic measures we track is the geographic location of COVID patients’ residence addresses,” Ruffolo said. “We map those them and look for COVID hot spots. The mapping revealed clusters of COVID-19 that coincided with the neighborhoods around the city’s three residential towers.”

The 600-plus apartments in those towers are home to some of the city’s most medically fragile residents, many of them with underlying chronic conditions, Ruffolo noted.

“That told us we needed to reach out to them to prevent the spread, and testing is such an important part of doing that,” Ruffolo said. “Mayor Restaino and Mr. Scott were quick to see the value in doing that. We expect be exploring additional test sites in the weeks ahead.”

See also >> New York offers comprehensive new testing site map

Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

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