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Roswell Park will serve as coronavirus laboratory testing site

No one who is symptomatic or suspected of having the virus will be coming to the campus for testing.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that six medical facilities state-wide will do rapid laboratory testing for COVID-19 or coronavirus.

One of those facilities is Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"We're delighted to provide that service," Roswell Park President and CEO Dr. Candace Johnson said.

During a news conference on Sunday, Dr. Johnson said the hospital was chosen by New York State because of its expertise in pathology, specifically in the area of testing for virus-based diseases.

The hospital will receive nasal swabs from people who have been ordered by a physician to get tested. That sample will then be tested in labs for the coronavirus. Dr. Johnson said the swabs are not infectious.

"Doing the testing here at Roswell doesn't put anyone, either our patients or families or our employees, at risk for COVID-19," she said.

Dr. Johnson said that that no one who has the virus or is suspected to have the virus will be walking through their campus doors.

"The test is a nasal swab. It's put in a tube and sealed and gets sent to us so people are not coming through our doors saying test me for coronavirus," she said.

The hospital will be ready to begin laboratory testing for the virus in a couple weeks. Once they are up and running, results are expected to be available the same day the sample is given to the lab.

Dr. Johnson also released a statement about the laboratory testing:

“Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of six sites around the State of New York to be asked to perform the test for COVID-19 from patient specimens," she said.

"We are pleased to provide this expertise and the resources of our outstanding pathology team to enhance COVID-19 detection as part of a coordinated statewide effort. Situations like this call for all hands on deck, and we readily signed on to be part of the collaborative effort to diagnose any cases of COVID-19 accurately and as quickly as possible for our community.”

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