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Farm workers in Erie County to receive COVID-19 testing through self-collected samples

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Posted at 10:52 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 10:52:52-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Department of Health is working with Kaleida Health to provide COVID-19 testing to agricultural workers through a community program.

The testing program will use self-collected saliva samples, allowing farm workers to get tested for COVID-19 without needing to go to a testing site. Kaleida Health will distribute sample selection kits to farms and businesses, and those businesses will be responsible for delivering completed kits to a Kaleida collection site. The program is offered at no cost to farms, agricultural businesses or employees.

Kaleida Health will then process the samples and ship them to a lab in New Jersey. The lab will send results to state and county health departments. Test results will be delivered confidentially to workers.

"Given the nature of agricultural work, it may be impractical for some farm workers to visit one of our County diagnostic test sites or community sites," Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said in a written statement.

Any farm or business interested in participating can call Kaleida Health Laboratories at (716) 626-7939.