Rapid COVID-19 testing hard to find in CNY area

Local News

PULASKI, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Rapid testing for COVID-19 has been a hot topic for months now, the technology is able to tell patients if they have the virus within minutes. There are few local places that offer this type of testing to the public. However, Pulaski Urgent Care does. Their tests are available to the public, at a cost.

Since they’re one of the only places using the technology, the urgent care has been getting calls from patients as far away as Long Island. They’re asking customers to call ahead and when the phones open at 8 a.m. each day, they’re usually fully booked about 45 minutes later. The tests can be given to those who are both symptomatic and asymptomatic but because they’re in such short supply throughout the market, those at the urgent care do prioritize those who work for and attend school and first responders.

At Pulaski Urgent Care, they have two types of testing systems. Even before the pandemic, they had a machine called the Sofia SARS Antigen FIA. It’s used to test for the flu, Lyme disease and more. However, the FDA recently gave emergency use for Sofia 2 to be used for COVID testing.

Rodney Richmond, a PA at Pulaski Urgent Care, warns they’re not 100% accurate. He said the Sofia gives results that are about 80% accurate. But any tests that come back negative are sent to a lab to double check that the patient truly is COVID-free.

Pulaski Urgent care recently added a new machine into the mix, made by Abbott Laboratories. The Abbott works faster and it’s more effective. But the market for it is small, and so it’s difficult for businesses to purchase the technology.

Richmond said of about 2,000 Sofia 2 Antigen tests that went through the machine and then were sent out to a lab, only about 9 ended up being false negatives.

To call and make an appointment for a test, click here.

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For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9.

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