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Mass-distribution effort scheduled in most municipalities for Saturday morning
The Erie County Department of Health is coordinating a distribution of nearly 40,000 COVID-19 at-home antigen test kits to Erie County village, town and city emergency managers. Each test kit box includes two antigen tests, for a total of about 80,000 tests.
“The primary responsibility of county government is to promote the health and welfare of its citizens. That is why I am pleased to announce we are distributing 80,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to our local municipalities, who will then distribute the test kits to their residents. I thank our local mayors, supervisors and emergency managers for agreeing to expeditiously distribute these kits starting tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 8,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “At a time when Erie County is experiencing an extraordinary surge of COVID-19 cases, this coordinated effort will put rapid tests into the hands of Erie County residents.”
He added, “This is not a one-and-done event. My administration and the Health Department are committed to providing additional testing supplies and PPE to our residents to support public health and safety, especially for residents in our county who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.”
ECDOH changed its original plan to distribute these kits through the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system and drive-thru sites based on library staffing and weather conditions. The current plan sends these test kits directly into towns, villages and cities for more convenient and equitable access. Households are limited to two boxes (four tests) each in this distribution. Quantities were determined based on municipal population.
Towns, villages and cities were asked to share specific information about COVID-19 test kit availability through press releases, their website and/or social media platforms.
Erie County residents can report positive COVID-19 at-home test results using the online form at www.erie.gov/hometestreport. Individuals with a positive test result should isolate – stay at home and away from other people – according to current New York State Department of Health guidance (www.erie.gov/iq).
New York state provided this supply of at-home tests to Erie County, part of a massive statewide initiative to make these COVID-19 tests available and to encourage people to know their COVID-19 status. A portion of this supply was directed to child care providers through the Child Care Resource Network, and to homeless shelters and Code Blue sites in Erie County.
Additional distributions from either state or county supplies will be announced.