Need a free COVID-19 test in Western New York? It may take a week to get it

Posted at 7:36 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 19:36:24-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As parts of Erie County have entered the Orange level of COVID-19 restrictions, many may be looking to get a test for the coronavirus through New York State. Those tests, which can be acquired at two different sites (Niagara County Community College and Key Bank Center parking lot) can be done for around 1100 people each day, and now are booked up until next week.

State officials say that this is actually an encouraging sign as they now see this as Western New Yorkers increasing their awareness on the coronavirus. They are encouraging people to still call the COVID-19 hotline (1-888-364-3065), or visit the website here to schedule, even though the test may not be eligible for almost a week.

If a test cannot be scheduled through the state for five or six days, and the results do not arrive for another two or three days, that week of uncertainty is something one doctor believes could be problematic.

"The problem with this is it only takes days to go up," Dr. Raul Vazquez, CEO of Urban Family Practice said, "(just look at) the incline we are in now."

Dr. Vazquez says that people need to act as if they are positive and quarantine while they wait for their test and for the results. This is the only way to ensure they do not spread it during that time.