Delays in Niagara County Covid testing results — point to supplier prioritizing supplies to other states

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Niagara County health officials say, people who are getting tested for the coronavirus are seeing delays in receiving their test results back.

Typically the return time for a Coronavirus test result in Niagara County is about 24 hours, but lately it’s been taking a lot longer for test results to come back. Health officials say, a few weeks ago, test results returned anywhere between 5 days to 13 days.

“The incubation period is 14 days so  the whole time that you have that delay, people might be out in the community potentially putting others at risk, so that’s why we need a quick turnaround,” said Daniel Stapleton Niagara county public health director. “So we can identify those people right away, isolate them from the public, and keep the virus from spreading.”

President and CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Joe Ruffolo, says the delays are happening, because the tools needed to process the samples are going to other States in need. 

“The major supplier was told, we don’t know who told them, I would surmise it probably was a federal government agency, but that supplier was told to redirect and prioritize reagents to the hot states, particularly down south and out west,” said Ruffolo.

What can be done to fix the issue of testing result delays?

“The resolve is, if there could be congressional intervention, with our delegates, Senator Schumer, Congressman Higgins to intervene with this major supplier and have them stop redirecting down south and out west,” he said.

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