Independent pharmacies will soon be able to provide COVID-19 testing in NY

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Saturday allowing the state’s 5,000 independent pharmacies to conduct diagnostic COVID-19 tests.

Two, local independent pharmacists say they will soon be added to the fight against the coronavirus.

“This executive order is so critical because it gives a lot of latitude in regards to what type of test can be done. But it also gives a very large automatic dispersion of 5,000 locations throughout the state of New York,” said Assemblyman and Pharmacist John McDonald.

Erika Fallon is the Supervising Pharmacist at Fallon Wellness Pharmacy. She said this is a way to provide people with a more convenient way to get tested.

“It’s just simply going to increase access for the community. We also know more testing is going to help us with future outcomes,” she explained.

Independent pharmacies are waiting for the correct measures and procedures to begin testing. McDonald says the test could be broken down into two parts.

“There will obviously be the diagnostic component, which in many situations is the nasal swab. There is also going to be the component of measuring people to see if they are immune, which is the antibody test,” he said.

“There will be a whole list of guidelines to protect the staff and patient as they come through for testing. I’m sure it will be something outside in some type of drive-thru manner,” Fallon said.

Now the question many people are wondering is when will the tests be made available to combat this virus.

“I do think the diagnostic testing for some of the larger operations could begin in just a couple of weeks. It is very possible that a smaller independent pharmacy would be a week or two behind that,” McDonald said.

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