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Erie County says free at-home rapid tests coming "soon"

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Posted at 6:47 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 07:47:08-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Wednesday the Erie County Health Department told 7News free rapid at-home tests will be distributed to county residents "soon," but had no other information on when and where. Tuesday Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the approaching snow could impact test shipments from the state.

Joe Lorigo, the Erie County Legislature Minority Leader (R), said more tests should've been in in Erie county already. On December 19, Lorigo said he and republicans tried to pass a resolution in the legislature that would require Erie County to purchase more test kits.

"The majority caucus didn’t want to do it, they said we should wait, talk about it and see," explained Lorigo. "Getting into holidays, people heading inside, people were gathering and needed to know whether they were positive for COVID-19."

A representative for Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Timothy Myers (D) told 7News that democrats want to get tests into households immediately, but want to make sure the process is done right and proper planning is in place. Democrats are even looking east to Monroe County for the logistics that worked during distribution there.

Monroe County said it recently purchased 750,000 rapid at-home tests and distributed them to towns and school districts last month. Monroe County said it allotted 500,000 tests for residents and community based organizations. The remaining 250,000 went to local school districts.

Lorigo said the resolution could be passed as early as tomorrow, otherwise it goes to be discussed in a committee meeting next Thursday.

"It’s disappointing, it’s not a political issue it’s something other communities are doing," said Lorigo. "There's a benefit to it."

New York continues to distribute millions of at-home tests to counties. Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation, Tweeted images of trucks being paced to delivery.