Orleans tops 1,000 tests for Covid-19

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2020 at 10:11 am

Orleans County hit a milestone on Tuesday when it reported that more than 1,000 tests for Covid-19.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, the county on Tuesday reported there have been 1,009 tests for the virus, with 142 testing positive with 867 negative, according to the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

On Wednesday, the total tested in Orleans County was up to 1,064, with 142 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The county has 40,352 residents, according to the Census estimate in 2019. That breaks out to one tested for every 38 residents.

One of the seven criteria for reopening the state’s economy is a region must test one out of every 30 residents each month. Orleans County is in the Finger Lakes region, which meets the testing standard as a region.

Orleans County officials and the county’s state representatives have asked for the Governor’s Office to approve a drive-through testing site in the county. The nearby counties – Genesee, Niagara, Erie and Monroe – all have drive-through testing locations but that can be a 45-minute drive for Orleans residents, said Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature.

The county did receive some good news with Covid-19 testing on Wednesday. Oak Orchard Health was approved for $449,314 in emergency funding from the federal government to do Covid-19 testing.

Oak Orchard Health has centers in Albion, Lyndonville, Brockport, Warsaw and Hornell. The organization wants to offer Covid-19 testing at all of the sites, Oak Orchard officials said.

“We are working through the details to finalize our plans to expand our testing capacity for all of Oak Orchard,” said Stacie Bridge, director of operations for Oak Orchard Health. “Supplies are limited so we are working through how to obtain the quantities we need as well to support all the communities we serve.”

Paul Pettit, the public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, said increased testing will be critical in tracking the virus in the county.

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