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UHS partners with City of Binghamton for Same-Day COVID-19 Virus Testing Program

May 07, 2020

(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David on Thursday joined John Carrigg, President and CEO of United Health Services (UHS), and Gregory J. Galvin, Ph.D., President and CEO of Rheonix Inc., to announce a same-day COVID-19 virus testing partnership between the City of Binghamton and United Health Services.

The City of Binghamton has supplied United Health Services with a fully automated Rheonix Encompass MDx® workstation for COVID-19 virus testing. Rheonix Inc., of Ithaca, received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Rheonix COVID-19™ MDx Assay on April 29.

UHS will purchase an additional workstation, which will enable their organization to locally process up to 200 tests per day, or 1,400 per week, on two workstations.

Broome County has tested 3,806 people, according to the most recent New York State Department of Health testing data updated May 6.

Governor Cuomo and other state and federal leaders have said widespread testing will be key to reopening communities.

Testing from the new workstations will be available to City of Binghamton first responders, essential personnel, local healthcare workers, UHS patients and other priority populations identified by healthcare professionals.

Mayor Richard C. David said: “The City identified a Southern Tier firm and cutting-edge COVID-19 virus testing technology and quickly put it to work. Our partnership with Rheonix and UHS will increase local testing capacity, as testing in Broome County to date has frankly lagged behind our neighboring counties. With Governor Cuomo’s announcement Monday that diagnostic testing capacity will be a core factor in regional economic re-opening, improved testing is important — now more than ever. In addition to improving testing capacity, these testing workstations will put the community in a stronger position to re-open our economy and let residents get back to work safely. Binghamton has always prided itself on leading by example, being the first municipality in the nation to utilize the new Rheonix technology. If needed, the City will buy more testing equipment to further improve local testing rates and give healthcare professionals the tools and technology they need to keep our community safe.”

John Carrigg, President and CEO of United Health Services, said: “This workstation will significantly increase the rate of testing in Broome County, and UHS is pleased to be able to partner with the City of Binghamton to enhance the well-being and safety of our community. Our laboratory staff have been working to quickly test and validate this new testing program. With healthcare being the leading employer in this community, it is very important that we have adequate testing for healthcare workers and other first responders. With this partnership, we are well positioned to be one of the leading providers of testing in the Southern Tier.”

Greg Galvin, President and CEO of Rheonix, said: “We are acutely aware of the importance of same day diagnostic testing and the value of having that capability in the local community. I am very pleased Rheonix has a role in this collaboration between the City of Binghamton and United Health Services in advancing testing capacity for the Southern Tier.”

The cost is $55,100 for the workstation and startup testing supplies, paid by the City and reimbursable as part of the CARES Act COVID-19 federal relief package.


Photo: Courtesy of Mayor Rich David's Office