Shortage of testing supplies leaves rural counties feeling left uncertain (video)

In each of his daily briefings, Governor Andrew Cuomo has touted the effort undertaken by New York State to expand testing. In fact, that effort by the state as he pointed out earlier this week has outpaced some countries – depending on the specific metric.

That’s not the case everywhere, though. Cayuga County Legislature Chairwoman Aileen McNabb-Coleman addressed the public on Tuesday, and called into question the degree to which testing is happening at the local level.

“Our residents deserve the very best,” she said during the address. “They deserve tests. Our health care workers deserve personal protective equipment to get this accomplished.”

Public health officials in Cayuga County classified testing supplies as ‘limited’. There have been less than a half-dozen confirmed cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

This isn’t a unique problem, though.

After confirming their first case, Seneca County Public Health Director Vickie Swinehart said that it was only a matter of time. “This was not unexpected as every other county across the state has reported positive cases to date,” she said on Monday. “Locally testing has been prioritized and is given to those who are at the greatest risk for exposure to the disease. Our local healthcare providers are following the NYSDOH’s guidelines for COVID-19 Testing.”

That doesn’t mean there’s an abundance of supplies to test anyone who may have the virus.

“Locally there is a shortage of testing supplies and crucial PPE, which is needed by healthcare providers who are testing and treating COVID-19 patients,” Swinehart continued. “The true burden of disease in Seneca County is unknown due to the limited number of tests being performed.”

The answer? It’s not clear yet, but even as the state says it shifts to prioritize faster, better testing – counties like Cayuga and Seneca could still feel left out – if more tests aren’t shifted.

Watch the press conference below:


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