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Niagara County Department of Health: Results of rapid testing of school staff 'very encouraging'


Fri, Oct 23rd 2020 12:20 pm

The Niagara County Department of Health on Friday said it has completed voluntary, rapid testing days of teachers and staff in five school districts and, thus far, the results are not showing any significant presence of COVID-19 in schools. According to the health department, 574 tests have been completed, with 571 negative results to just three positives.

“While we have obviously had positive COVID-19 cases in many of our schools, the negative test results of teachers and staff in these districts show that the protocols are working,” said Daniel J. Stapleton, Niagara County’s public health director. “The process of testing, contact tracing and quarantining those who may have been exposed is helping us isolate the virus and prevent significant spread in our schools.”

Stapleton said the districts that have received rapid testing are: Niagara Falls, Lockport, North Tonawanda, Niagara Wheatfield and Lewiston-Porter. More districts are scheduled in coming weeks.

“I want to thank the school superintendents and their staff who are proving to be really great partners as we all work to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Stapleton said. “And I want to thank my staff for their efforts and their hard work as we move this testing from school district to school district. Each week we are essentially creating a new testing site from the ground up and processing a hundred or more tests right on the spot. It takes a lot of coordination to make this all work, but the cooperation between the schools and our team has been outstanding.”

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