ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — We are just five days away from Wild Card weekend — the Buffalo Bills versus the Indianapolis Colts at Orchard Park.
Now that we know when the game will be played, testing of season ticket holders who were able to get tickets begins Wednesday.
There are a lot of preparations being made to do the testing. Pre-COVID, Bills parking lots were the place to party for home games. With COVID, and with the Bills hosting a home playoff game, Lot 4 outside Bills Stadium is being turned into a massive COVID testing operation.
"It is probably the first mandatory fan testing program in the country," said Dr. Jon Cohen, the executive chairman of BioReference, the company that's doing the testing.
Thirty lanes of drive-thru COVID testing are under construction.
Testing of season ticket holders who were lucky enough to get tickets, will begin Wednesday at 6:30 a.m., run all day and into the evening, then resume Thursday.
Fans will be funneled from Abbott Road through the testing site and then back onto Abbott Road.
Fans who have tickets to the game, should’ve gotten an email on how to schedule a COVID test outside the stadium.
"They’ll drive up, they’ll have their pre-registration, which they will show the people who are doing the swabbing, they pull up they pull down the window they get swabbed, we then take that specimen and send it to our laboratory," Cohen said.
Over the two days of testing, COVID tests will be sent periodically to a BioReference lab in New Jersey.
Fans who have tickets to the Wild Card game should get their results back one to two days after their test, through a secure email.
"We’ve designed this specific process to accommodate these specimens so that we get them through the lab in relatively quick fashion," Cohen said. "My recommendation is to keep yourself relatively isolated and don’t go out and do a lot of crazy things between the time that you get tested and the game."
And just to be clear, the COVID tests that will be done are the lower nasal swab tests, not the more invasive nasal test.
COVID tests only done by BioReference will be valid.
Fans who buy tickets then test positive for the virus can get reimbursements for their ticket and parking fee.