BUFFALO, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side talked exclusively with the Catholic Health CEO Mark Sullivan, who said he's optimistic that rapid testing will arrive here in Western New York.
"Where are we today on testing? I've had conversations with FEMA, Homeland Security, our congressmen, the governor's office, and they're doing everything they can with Cepheid, the company. We're very close. What ended up happening was Cepheid, the company we mentioned in our press conference, really turned over the responsibility to the federal government to say, where do you want our tests to go?
"And the point of my press conference was there's 0.69 per 1,000 tests in Western New York, so yes, Western New York is small compared to the rest of the country. But being a fifth-generation Western New Yorker, we deserve the test, so everyone is pulling out all the stops. I think we are very close to getting a quantity of testing."
Once the supplies arrive, Catholic Health will begin to immediately start the rapid testing, with up to 800 a day, with the main focus being on patients inside the hospital already to figure out if patients under investigation actually have the virus or not, which can help with the anticipated shortage in protective equipment.
Last week, Sullivan announced his hospital system has equipment that could process the new, so-called "45-minute test" for the coronavirus.
Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein has put capacity at its public health laboratory between 80 to 100 tests a day.