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Residents in “Orange” City, Towns to Get More Opportunities for COVID-19 Tests

Staff reports

New York state on Nov. 23 declared sections of the city and neighboring towns as orange micro-cluster zones. File photo

Starting Dec. 1, Rochester and the towns designated orange micro-cluster zones will provide more COVID-19 testing for their residents who aren’t showing symptoms of the illness.

The Monroe County Department of Public Health announced on Nov. 29 that it would work with the city, Irondequoit, Brighton and Gates to host sites where residents could get a free, self-administered rapid test. Children younger than 18 would have to be accompanied by an adult.

The initial sites are:

  • Rochester: East High School, 1801 E. Main St., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays beginning Dec. 5
  • Irondequoit: Department of Public Works, 2629 E. Ridge Road, 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2. Preregistration is required. Go to or call (585) 336-6002 (taking phone registrations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 2.)
  • Brighton: Temple B’rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Ave. 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Dec. 8.
  • Gates: To be announced.

Information on additional targeted asymptomatic test sites will be posted on the Monroe County COVID-19 website, as dates, times and locations are finalized. Locations will be in the city and Gates. The tests are provided by the state and the county.

“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,” County Executive Adam Bello said Nov. 29 in a news 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.”

The day before the announcement about more testing opportunities, Monroe County Department of Public Health reported 515 new cases of COVID-19. The seven-day rolling average of new cases was 354. Over that past couple of weeks, the county was seeing more cases per day than it had seen in weeks over the summer. In August, for example, the most cases on any one day was 38 on Aug. 14. Most days that month, new cases numbered in the high teens or 20s.

“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,” Mayor Lovely Warren said in the news release.

“We need to stop asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 to protect our vulnerable friends and loved ones,” she said. “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.”

City Hall announced Nov. 25 that the mayor’s mother, Elrita “Rita” McClary Warren, died from complications of heart failure and COVID-19.

“With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, it is critical that we remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce community spread,” Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley said in the release.

“During the holiday season, it is more important than ever that we all do our part to fight the COVID pandemic,” Brighton Supervisor Bill Moehle said in the release.