In 30 minutes, 360 COVID-19 test kits were gone. Are more coming to Steuben County?

Jeff Smith
The Leader

Distribution of free COVID-19 rapid test kits to Steuben County residents Wednesday morning at the Southeast Steuben County Library only lasted about 30 minutes amid heavy demands, according to Pauline Emery, library director. 

“We had about 360 rapid test kits, and starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, we ran out in a short amount of time,” Emery said. “A lot of people showed up very early to get the rapid tests and KN95 masks.” 

Darlene Smith, Steuben County Public Health Department director, said the county currently has limited supplies of rapid tests and masks. 

The Steuben County Public Health Department partnered Wednesday with the Southern Tier Library system to distribute free KN95 masks and rapid test kits at all local STLS libraries.

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“I’m sure all the libraries’ stock of free rapid tests were handed out to residents,” Smith said. “We will replenish the library when Steuben is replenished with test kits and masks by the New York State Department of Health.” 

Smith said people should watch in the coming weeks for similar free distributions.

As of Wednesday, Emery said the Southeast Steuben County Library still had many KN95 masks. 

“We’ve got to get them out,” Emery said. “So, we will be handing them out for days, because they are hard to find.” 

Emery said STLS is hopeful that the state and federal agencies will provide another shipment of rapid tests soon. 

“We are totally willing to do this again,” Emery said.  

Additional distribution sites will be made available as more supplies come in, Smith said. For the latest Steuben County updates, visit Steuben County’s website at www.steubencony.org.