Orleans will have free rapid testing for Covid at Fairgrounds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2020 at 9:04 pm

Events will be Wednesdays, starting Dec. 16, for 7 weeks or longer

KNOWLESVILLE – Orleans County will offer free rapid testing for Covid-19 for the first time starting next Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The testing is for people who are asymptomatic for Covid. Those with symptoms should consult with a medical provider on getting tested.

The events at the fairgrounds will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and are expected to last seven weeks. The times could be modified and there could be additional weeks depending on demand, Public Health Director Paul Pettit shared during a conference call with local elected officials today.

More details need to be worked out and the Health Department will be releasing more information soon about the rapid testing.

The public will need to register online, to help manage the traffic flow and stagger the arrivals. Pettit said more information and an online signup will be available soon.

People should enter the fairgrounds from Taylor Hill Road and go to the north side of the Trolley Building. After their test sample and results, they should exit from Wood Road.

Genesee County has offered rapid testing last Thursday and today at the Genesee County Emergency Management Office & Fire Training Facility on State Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

There were 400 people who were tested on Thursday and 470 today, with 32 positives today, said Pettit, who is public health director in Orleans and Genesee. The Genesee events are drawing people from six or seven counties, he said. Click here to sign up for the event at Genesee. An online registration hasn’t been set up yet for Orleans.

Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman, said she appreciates free testing will soon be an option in the county.

She urged local towns and villages to dedicate some of their personnel to help run the events, which she said will take about 20 to 25 people to manage.

Pettit said the county officials have been pressing the state for months for free testing options in Genesee and Orleans.

“I think we’re finally moving the needle on this,” he said.