The Niagara County Health Department has been given a rapid testing machine on loan and they're going to begin testing schools for COVID-19 this week.

According to WIVB, more than 94,000 people have already been tested for COVID-19 in Niagara County.  That number is about to go up as the county has just been loaned a rapid results testing machine.  Although it's likely that it will, the hope is that the number of positive cases rising will not follow the testing.

At the time of this post, the latest figure is that six new cases were added to Niagara County's total of positive cases to bring their total to 1,775.

Health Director Dan Stapleton says that the rapid testing is not a result of a cluster of positive cases but rather the opportunity to use the machines to see what is actually happening in our schools.

"If we had an outbreak, we would be using those machines for that but thankfully we don't have an outbreak so we're taking it to areas where we can identify schools are newly open for just a few weeks and now's the time we will be able to look at the schools," Stapleton said. "We'll be doing every school district in Niagara County over the coming weeks."

At this point, the testing sites are for Niagara Falls and Lockport district staff only. These sites are not open to students or the public.

They plan to begin Lockport School District next week.

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