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Lancaster family says elderly are at risk at Quest Diagnostics site

They filed a complaint with the Department of Health
Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 18:32:37-04

DEPEW, N.Y. (WKBW) — Mark Dischner took his mother Norma, 89, for a routine blood test at a Quest Diagnostics site in Depew on Monday and says they waited in unsafe conditions for over an hour.

"There was even an elderly female coughing in excess while I was in the waiting room," said Dischner.

Upon entering the facility, he noticed most of the chairs were separated to allow for social distancing, but all the chairs were occupied and overflow patrons, mostly elderly patients, were standing in the facility without guidance.

Mark snapped this photo of the room and says this is after most people left.

"I would say there was 25 maybe 30 people and they weren't six feet apart I'll tell you that," said Norma Dischner.

There was no pre-screening or temperature checks, until your name was called, according to the Dischners. They felt unsafe, so they then asked to wait outside.

"We waited in these conditions for approximately an hour and a half when I asked one of the staff members if we could wait outside due to the overcrowding, wherein I was abruptly told 'NO'," recalled Mark Dischner.

He was told the wait would be one to two more hours, so they left. He's since filed an official complaint with the New York State Department of Health, citing fears for the elderly population.

"It appears that Quest Diagnostics presents a facade of COVID compliance by the spacing of chairs but that is as far as it goes," said Dischner.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to Quest for a response and here's what they had to say:

"We are looking into the situation reported at this patient service center. Quest Diagnostics is committed to the safety of the communities we serve. We have protocols in place to ensure the safety of our patients and employees through our Peace of Mind program including more frequent cleanings, PPE requirements, social distancing and wait by text."
-Quest Diagnostics Spokesperson

Norma Dischner went back again on Wednesday morning and say the environment was much better, she warns others to avoid going during the middle of the day.