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Thursday 27 January 2022
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Monroe County, City Begins Distribution of 750,000 At-Home Rapid COVID-19 Test Kits

Staff Report

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, along with community leaders including Mayor James Patrick Smith and Mayor-Elect Malik Evans announced the county’s plan to distribute 750,000 at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits so residents can better protect themselves and their families this holiday season.

Test kits were purchased with $7.5 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARE) funds, and are being provided to local municipalities and school districts at no charge to residents.

The test kits will be available at selected R-Centers and City Vaccine Clinics beginning Saturday, Dec. 11. Rochester received over 100,000 test kits from Monroe County as part of ongoing community efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

The kits will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the following sites:

·         Sat., Dec. 11: Adams Street R-Center, 85 Adams St.;

·         Sat., Dec. 11: Thomas P. Ryan R-Center, 530 Webster Ave.;

·         Sat., Dec. 18: Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center, 485 N. Clinton Ave.; and

·         Sun. Dec. 19: Edgerton R-Center, 41 Backus St.

“As we prepare for the holidays, I encourage everyone to test before gathering with family and friends,” Smith said. “The best gift we can give our loved ones is ensuring that we all can enjoy the holidays safely and without the fear of contracting or spreading COVID. These free tests are easy to use and provide quick and accurate results.”

Directions are included with each kit, and tutorial videos are available online also an online fact sheet on the test kits use is available on monroecounty.gov.

Smith said they are making the test kits as accessible as possible with the multiple distribution sites over a number of dates.

“It takes the entire community to combat the pandemic and I ask everyone to do their part by getting vaccinated, testing before attending gatherings and masking up in public, indoor spaces. I know that together, we can finally turn the tide,” Smith said.

The city and county along with medical community partners will continue to offer vaccinations and boosters at multiple locations throughout the City, in addition to providing the test kits to the public. Current information on testing and vaccine sites is available www.monroecounty.gov.

Bello said they will work with our towns, villages and the City of Rochester to distribute half a million tests in the coming days. “We are not just making these tests available; we will flood the community with them. Another 250,000 tests are going to our school systems, who will then have the opportunity to distribute their supply to their students and families.” 

Contact tracing data from the county’s Department of Public Health shows that the virus that causes COVID-19 is largely transmitted at the workplace, at large indoor gatherings and at family gatherings and events.

“For those who are planning to gather over the coming weeks, consider using these tests before doing so,” Bello said. “They are quick, easy and in 15 minutes, you can have the peace of mind knowing you won’t be spreading COVID at a gathering or in the workplace.”

County officials continue to urge the community to get COVID-19 vaccinations, get a booster shot if needed, wear a mask or face covering when visiting indoor public spaces, wash their hands and stay home if they are sick.

The Department of Public Health says that negative test results do not need to be reported, they request those who receive a positive result from the tests immediately begin isolation, contact their doctor and report the result to the health department. Residents should take a photo of the test kit showing a positive result and upload it using the
online form available at www.monroecounty.gov/health-covid19-reporting.

“We owe it to residents to show them what they can do to keep themselves and their families healthy,” said Bello. “I want to give our residents the knowledge and tools to proactively manage the pandemic.” 

For further information, to schedule appointments for vaccinations and boosters are available by calling (585) 753-5555 or at monroecounty.gov.  For future sites where kits may be made available and to learn about community resources for food, shelter, mental health and other COVID-related needs, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/coronavirus.