Hundreds of local businesses receive free coronavirus test kits

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — By this weekend, a simple trip out to get your haircut, workout at the gym, or go to church can also get you a free Covid-19 test. 

Since these Rapid Test Kits were purchased, 434 businesses were put on a list of contact for each Neighborhood Service Center to call and ask if they wanted to participate. Then they each get a certain number of COVID-19 test kits for their business to give out to staff and customers.  

At all four Neighborhood Service Center buildings in Rochester, Boxes filled with thousands of test kits are being distributed to hair salons, tattoo parlors, churches, and elsewhere to prevent future widespread coronavirus outbreaks. 

“It makes it easier for anybody to get a test where they don’t have to call their doctor or go to an urgent care and wait,” Kim Ortiz, who owns Kim’s Cuts in Rochester said. “Sometimes there are two-hour wait times and we had to get a test every two weeks when we were doing it before.”  

Many feel businesses like these are the best outlet to distribute them from due to the amount of foot traffic they get and one on one trust with each client to know who needs one. Speeding up contact tracing efforts.  

“With 100 people a week coming in here let’s say if they have two people at their house then that’s 200 people a week that’s come in contact with me,” Phli Divas Beauty Salon Owner Tiffany Gray explained. “So, that helps me understand if they’re positive or if I come in contact with me they would let me know. So, if one of my clients does come up positive, we can give them a call.”  

If you own a business in Rochester and don’t receive a call from your local Neighborhood Service Center, you can always go there during hours and pick up a box yourself. With tests done this conveniently, people see them as key to keeping their shops open.  

“I feel like it would be able to keep businesses going,” Ortiz told us. “Keep us open and operable and we won’t have to be shut down again.”  

“It would help us stop another shutdown,” Gray added. “Having businesses shut down for months at a time really creates a strain on the community especially us as business owners. Because a lot of businesses didn’t reopen after the first shutdown.”  

There is a limited number of test kits each business or church can take with them. Every kit comes with two rapid tests inside which can be done and give you results in 15 minutes. And they do come with directions. Again, these test kits are from the city and county government free of charge.

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