ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – The Monroe County Department of Public Health and some municipalities within the county will establish new testing sites meant for people who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19, the county announced Sunday.
The testing, the county said, is in response to portions of the community being designated COVID-19 orange cluster zones by New York State. Testing sites will be available in Rochester, Brighton, Irondequoit and Gates, the county added.
The new testing locations include one at East High School in Rochester, one at the Irondequoit Department of Public Works, and one at Temple B’Rith Kodesh in Brighton, and one in Gates at Gates Memorial Park.
Appointments at the Irondequoit testing location have already filled up. Town Supervisor David Seeley says this effort is much like what happened at the beginning of the pandemic, when there was a demand for masks and food. He says towns worked with the county and state to meet the new demand for tests, and so far it works.
“I think all local governments need to do what we’re doing, we need to provide more testing, we need more information from people, we need to know if they’re asymptotic, they want to know if they’re infected. That impacts their workplace, their family life. The more testing we have the better we are at controlling virus,” he said.
“We have seen a rapid increase in positive cases of COVID-19 throughout Monroe County. It’s going to take a community-wide effort to help us flatten the curve in order to keep our schools open and our residents safe and healthy,” said Adam Bello, the Monroe County Executive, in a Sunday media release. “This free community testing can help us find cases of COVID-19 and ensure asymptomatic individuals are not inadvertently spreading the virus. We have reduced the spread here before, and I know we can do it again if we all work together.”
Bello said each of the sites will offer self-administered COVID-19 rapid tests, provided to the municipalities by Monroe County and New York State. Children under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Monroe County is working to make more locations available for testing in Rochester and in Gates, the county said.
“Working together to stop the spread of the pandemic is essential and getting tested is an important way to protect your circle and our entire community,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in the release. “We need to stop asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 to protect our vulnerable friends and loved ones. I know firsthand the pain and suffering this disease causes and I don’t want anyone else to experience it. Please get tested, continue to wear your mask and be smart about your travel.”