Erie County allowing schools in microcluster zones to use LSL license for testing

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County Department of Health will allow all schools within the county to use its Limited Service Lab (LSL) license for COVID-19 antigen testing.

This announcement came Tuesday. Just the day before, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that the county did not have the resources to help all schools in the county, but the situation appears to be different now.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says the county’s emergency preparedness team has obtained a new LSL license.

“The requirement for schools to have access to Erie County’s LSL in order to perform diagnostic COVID antigen tests raised serious concerns,” Dr. Burstein said. “ECDOH is responsible for all diagnostic tests performed under our license. We were hesitant to take any action that could put that license in jeopardy, especially since we use that license for a majority of our diagnostic COVID tests.”

The specific language the Department of Health used to identify which schools could use the license was “schools within New York State-designated microcluster zones.”

The entire county is either in an orange or yellow zone. Therefore, any school in Erie County can use the LSL license to conduct school-based testing programs.

Once they confirmed their ability to meet and maintain certain operational and safety requirements, schools will be able to order Binax NOW COVID-19 test kits directly from the state. The kits will provide results in 15 minutes.

School superintendents and other school leaders have received information on how to access the county’s LSL license. Any that have questions can call (716) 858-7690.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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