“It’s going to continue in this direction for the foreseeable future,” stated Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton during a broadcasted update with Niagara County’s Chairman Wydysh on the increase in positive cases.
“We still have a few communities that don’t have any confirmed positive results. That doesn’t mean there aren’t positive cases,” he added.
Stapleton stressed how important an expansion of testing is during this time. Doing this helps build more reliable models of where our area is in relation to an upcoming apex, but without the same access to testing as other areas downstate, there is no way to know.
Stapleton remarked on 100 test kits received, from an expected order of 1,500, that this has forced the Health Department to ration tests only for “populations most at risk.” This would include pregnant mothers, first responders, inpatients and hospital workers.
Chairman Wydysh agreed with Stapleton’s assessment, and commented in length on what the Niagara County Legislature is doing to repair this issue.
Wydysh shared with residents,
“I know that I’ve received many emails and comments from individuals who are home. They do have symptoms, and they’ve been in contact with their doctor, who has said that he would test if they could, but that a test just isn’t available.”
She added, “Please understand and know that Director Stapleton and I certainly have conversations daily, if not multiple times every day. We’re in close contact with our state representatives; Senator Ortt, Assemblyman Norris and Assemblyman Morinello. We’re even on the phone with Congressman Higgins office”
Wydysh assured residents she is “working with them to open up every route that we can, every voice that can be speaking for us, in advocating to get those tests here and available.”
Lastly, she stated, “I know it’s difficult when you’re home and you have those symptoms, to wonder what’s happening and to be worried about it. Please know, that we are fighting for you in every way that we can to get those tests here and hope to see more as soon as possible.”