BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's pretty likely you know someone or you yourself have tried to get an at-home COVID test from CVS or Wegmans lately only to find out they are out of stock or in very short supply.
It's an issue Governor Kathy Hochul and the state are very aware of which is why this week thousands of kits were shipped to local municipalities to be given away to neighbors for free.
Towns like West Seneca picked up the tests Friday from Erie County and plan to hold a drive-thru test pick up Saturday, January 8 at 10 a.m. at West Seneca West High School while supplies last.
"They'll just drive by we'll give each household two kits and then they'll be on their way so I think it will go pretty quick," said Town Supervisor Gary Dickson.
Dickson told 2 On Your Side West Seneca received 1,800 tests to hand out and added that the number of tests was based on population, which is why Cheektowaga got nearly double that amount.
"We took [Friday] to make sure we planned, we had all the logistics in place to get these kits out as efficiently as possible to our residents," said Cheektowaga Police Chief Brian Gould.
Gould and his office will be assisting the town's emergency services department in handing their 3,000 tests out on Monday, January 10 from 12-4 p.m. at Cheektowaga Town Park. Neighbors who drive-thru to pick up their tests are asked to enter from Greenleaf Road.
Dozens of other towns around Western New York posted on social media Friday they too would be distributing kits.
East Aurora Police posted on Facebook about a giveaway at the police department. Like West Seneca, it will be happening Saturday, January at 9 a.m. All neighbors are asked to rely on their own municipality for tests and may be asked for proof of residence.
Genesee County will be distributing one free COVID-19 test kit per car Saturday, January 8th from 12-2 p.m. at the Genesee County Fire Training Center, located at 7690 State Street Rd in Batavia. County officials stress that there will be more opportunities in the future for the distribution of tests.
The 2,580 available test kits each contain two tests per box. Attendees will be required to show proof of Genesee County residence in order to receive one.
Should a resident test positive with any of these at-home rapid tests, they are asked to report using their respective county health department's website. Erie County's is linked here.
Niagara County too will hand out roughly 6,000 at-home COVID testing kits on Saturday, January 8 starting at 11 a.m.
Test kits will be handed out in Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, and Lockport on a first-come, first-served basis, and each site will have about 2,000 kits to distribute.
Test kits will be distributed at:
- Niagara Falls: Niagara County Human Resources Building, 300 10th Street
- North Tonawanda: Niagara County DMV, 500 Wheatfield Street
- Lockport: Transit Drive-In Theatre, 6655 South Transit Road
Dickson expects that Erie County will be distributing more tests in the future but said if demand starts stacking up at West Seneca West High School they may start early.
"I think it lightens the load on the other testing facilities that the county runs and I also think it does people peace of mind," Dickson added.
Other test kit distributions:
- Village of Sloan: 9 a.m. at Village Hall 425 Reiman Street on Monday, January 10.
- Lancaster: fill out this form https://forms.gle/AaWsvnRhCH2gUpNm6 to reserve a COVID-19 Test kit and or N95 masks. Pick-up must take place in the time slot you choose between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 9.
- Amherst: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. drive-thru event, Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road on Sunday, January 9.
- Town and Village of Orchard Park: A drive-thru COVID-19 at home test kit and KN-95 mask distribution event will be held on Tuesday, January 11, starting at 10 a.m. until supplies last. The location will be 67-71 Bank Street. Enter off of Bank Street and Thorn Avenue.
If your city, town, or village is not included in this story you're advised to check their social media pages for more information.