ROCHESTER, NY (WROC)— Pharmacies around the state will now be able to conducted tests for the coronavirus, as part of an executive order to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a move that could increase testing across the state and in Rochester.
Pharmacies like Alexandar Pharmacy in Rochester are in the center of the fight against COVID-19.
Owner Dr. Nilesh Patel says it has completed changed the business, and it only makes sense for pharmacies to assist with testing.
“Pharmacists have the most contact time with the patients, when you compare to any healthcare professional, so we are at the front of all this,” said Nilesh Patel MD, RPH Owner Alexandar Pharmacy.
That’s why Dr. Patel is hopeful that an executive order from Governor Cuomo allowing independent pharmacies to do diagnostic testing for the virus will only help the fight against COVID-19.
“Some have already been doing it. Some of the larger national chain. But if your local drug store can now become a collection site, people can go to their local drug story. There are about 5,000 in New York, that could quickly ran up our collection capacity,” said Governor Cuomo.
The move could reduce stress on the health care system, and add up to 5,000 testing sites across the state, something Dr. Patel says is needed, as more and more people are tested for the virus.
“Currently even if you run all these labs 24, hours 7 days you might get through 40,000 a week for the testing, so suddenly it is in everyone’s interest to utilize pharmacist’s talent as a health care professional in this matter,” said Dr. Patel.
The tests will be diagnostics testing for the virus, not the antibody testing we are hearing about, Meaning they not show if you have been exposed to COVID-19 but recovered, the test will show if you are positive or negative for the virus.