NY pharmacists to begin pilot program for COVID-19 testing

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10 — Being able to provide more point of care testing is now one step closer to becoming a reality for pharmacists in New York State.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that 52 independent pharmacies — a handful of which are located right in the Capital Region — will begin to administer COVID-19 tests to members of their communities.

“If we are doing 7,000 tests a week with 52 stores, we start to think about what we could do with 2,500 stores, its north of 300,000 tests a week. So we are very excited and we think that we can really help New York get back open and stay open,” stated Steve Moore, President of Pharmacist Society of the State of New York.

At this point, there are still questions that Cuomo has yet to answer, such as how soon pharmacists can start to give these tests, and how many tests each store will receive.

According to Moore, the federal government will be supplying the tests, which the state will then distribute. He said he’s hoping that this pilot program will begin in early June.

“Some of the pharmacies are doing it in a drive through model,” explained Moore. “Some of them are doing it when a patient parks the car in a parking lot model, depending upon their space. And some of them are designating spots within the pharmacy.”

Moore added that this will be by appointment only and the tests will be analyzed at Wadsworth Lab.

Dan Lange, of Lange’s Pharmacy in Schenectady said at his store, tests will not be conducted inside.

“We will block off part of the parking lot on the side of the building,” Lange stated. “We are hoping to make it as smooth of a process as possible. They make an appointment, we know when their coming, we have resources allotted. They’re in, they’re out. We take care of the test and answer whatever questions they may have.”

New York Pharmacists are hoping that the governor will expand point of care testing for other diseases in the future.

“There is a lot of opportunity for pharmacists to really make a difference,” explained Moore. “And I think we are thrilled for the chance.”


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