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Poloncarz says more test kits expected Tuesday

Erie County expects to get more test kits for Covid-19 on Tuesday, County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said Saturday as he tried to update the community on the local response to the global pandemic.

Poloncarz had called it distressing that New York's largest upstate county was straining to obtain the test kits that would tell people experiencing symptoms if they are infected, and give officials a better view of the virus's spread through a population of about 920,000 people.

However, Poloncarz never said Saturday how many additional test kits Erie County officials expect to receive Tuesday from state government. An aide later said no number was given.

Poloncarz broke off his update on Facebook to attend a conference call with state and federal officials. He said he would use the call to appeal for more personal protective equipment for front-line workers.

County officials have said the lack of testing materials caught them off guard. They rapidly went through their  initial supply of 450 test kits at the same time they were loosening restrictions on who could be tested.

By Saturday, tests performed by Erie County and private laboratories had confirmed 56 cases of Covid-19 in Erie County. That total was reached as two more cases were found in Buffalo and one in Clarence on Saturday.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the results of 232 were still pending at the Erie County Public Health Laboratory, which also performs tests for some surrounding counties.

Some 98 tests from surrounding counties still were awaiting results, he said.

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