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State COVID-19 SWAT team deployed to WNY to provide rapid testing

Carlos Osorio / AP Photo
A lab technician dips a sample into a testing machine that delivers results within minutes.

COVID-19 infection rates have reached 2% in the five Western New York coronavirus counties. "That's not good news," according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and it has prompted "a caution flag" for the region.

In response, the governor said the state is sending a state Health Department SWAT team to the region to establish eight new testing sites with 50 machines that will provide quick results.

"These eight additional sites are not just eight additional sites," Cuomo said. "They are rapid testing sites, which means you get the results, let's call it, in an hour, all right? So we'll know the same day what's happening and, depending on what we see, we'll act accordingly. There's no hard number that we have that goes from a yellow flag to a red flag."

The rise in Western New York comes as the infection rates remained below 1% statewide for the 20th consecutive day. The state said 118 new cases were reported in the region Wednesday, with Chautauqua County having 37 new cases, many associated with the Fieldbrook Foods processing plant in Dunkirk.

The eight new testing sites will be open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday. Locations are below: 

  • Delavan-Grider Community Center, 877 E. Delavan Ave., Buffalo
  • True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St., Buffalo
  • Northwest Buffalo Community Center, 155 Lawn Ave., Buffalo
  • Dunkirk Fire Murphy Training Grounds, 665 Brigham Rd., Dunkirk
  • SUNY ECC North, 6205 Main St., Williamsville
  • Union Fire Department, 1845 Union Rd., West Seneca
  • John A. Duke Senior Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls
Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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