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Lining up for free COVID home tests

"I want to make sure I’m okay"
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Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 18:23:35-05

CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WKBW) — The high demand for COVID home test kits being handed out in Erie County is quickly out-pacing supply.

Hundreds of vehicles were lining up hours before Monday's distribution at Cheektowaga Town Park.

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COVID home test giveaway at Cheektowaga Town Park

“Our plan was to hold off to as close to as we could to 12o'clock to try to be fair to everybody, but at some point we would be interfering with traffic on Harlem Road,” explained Chief Brian Gould, Cheektowaga Police Department.

Chief Gould tells me heavy traffic forced them to open just after 11 a.m. Monday.

“It is a very logistical, heavy operation to try to get this many people through and hand out this many things,” Gold noted.

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Cheektowaga Police Chief Brian Gould.

The town received 3,000 home test kits to hand out and cars started lining up at 9'o'clock.

“How did it go? Not bad at all — fast — fast,” replied Mary Ann Liskiewicz, resident.

“Here for your test kit — why did you want to grab one?” Buckley asked.

“Well, I want to make sure I’m okay,” responded Larry Kaleta, resident.

“Were you pleased with how they did the distribution this morning?” Buckley question. “It’s going good,” replied Kaleta.

But unlike the long lines we saw over the weekend in Amherst and the Tonawandas, those in the Cheekotowaga waited only about 20-minutes for their kits.

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Cars waiting at Cheektowaga Town Park for test kits.

The resident said they want to be ready in case they start to feel any cold or COVID symptoms.

“You come down — you think you've got a cold. You can test it and see — make sure it's a cold,” remarked Lamont Burley, resident.

“I want to make sure I don't have it — you know if I'm with other people,” Liskiewicz noted.

“I self test all the time, so I think it's important to get it and I was getting those BinaxNow ones all the time, but those became harder to get over time, so I think this is good,” stated Nick, resident.

In roughly two hours the kits were gone. The tests were limited to two per household.

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Home test kit pick up line in Cheektowaga Monday.

The Erie County Health Department tells me there is a strong demand for the antigen test kits and they will have distributions as supplies allow.

The county asks municipalities to make sure they “communicate” their distribution plans to their community.

Chief Gould says the long lines prevent them from checking every identification.

“The stipulation from the county was that they are to be distributed to local residents, at this point, we are telling people you have to be a local resident to pick them up,” Gould said.

The City of Buffalo announced it will begin distribution of 11,000 at home test kits starting Tuesday at its five community centers.