Rapid tests coming back at much lower positivity rate

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2020 at 9:50 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Personnel at the first Orleans County rapid test clinic last Wednesday take rapid tests of people in vehicles. They submitted self-administered tests of nasal samples. The county did 420 tests that day with 12 testing positive, or 2.9 percent. On Monday, there were 22 positives out of 546 for 4.0 percent.

ALBION – Orleans County in recent weeks has had one of the highest positivity rates in the region for Covid-19 tests.

The county currently has a 9.0 percent positivity rate over the past 14 days. Only Genesee, at 10.1 percent, is higher among the nine counties in the Finger Lakes Region.

The percentage in Orleans is expected to drop as the county does weekly rapid tests for people who are asymptomatic.

The county’s rate for the past 7 days is 8.6 percent, down from the 9.0 percent over two weeks. The 8.6 percent the past seven days is the third highest in the Finger Lakes, behind Genesee at 11.4 percent and Monroe at 8.7 percent.

The first rapid testing clinic in Orleans County a week ago had 12 positives out of 420 tests, or a 2.9 percent positive rate. On Monday, there were 546 tests with 22 positives, or 4.0 percent. Of the positives, 21 were Orleans County residents, said Paul Pettit, the public health director in Genesee and Orleans.

Here is how the nine counties in the Finger Lakes Region compare in the past week, and two weeks for percentage of tests that are positive for Covid-19:

  • Genesee, 7-day average – 11.4%; 14-day average – 10.1%
  • Livingston, 7-day average – 6.9%; 14-day average – 6.5%
  • Monroe, 7-day average – 8.7%; 14-day average – 8.7%
  • Ontario, 7-day average – 7.0%; 14-day average – 7.0%
  • Orleans, 7-day average – 8.6%; 14-day average – 9.0%
  • Seneca, 7-day average – 7.7%; 14-day average – 7.0%
  • Wayne, 7-day average – 6.7%; 14-day average – 6.4%
  • Wyoming, 7-day average – 8.6%; 14-day average – 8.3%
  • Yates, 7-day average – 3.8%; 14-day average – 4.7%

Source: Forward NY (Click here)

Orleans County will be doing the weekly rapid testing clinics until at least late January. In Genesee, there are two a week. Oak Orchard Health also did a rapid testing clinic on Friday evening with 140 tested.

“I think we’ve turned a corner to provide that access to our residents, which was something we struggled with,” Pettit said.

Orleans has its next clinic on Monday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. Click here for registration information.

Pettit praised the staff at the Health Department, Orleans County Emergency Management Office and other agencies and businesses for providing the personnel for the clinics. About 40 people have helped with the clinics.

“This is a great collaboration,” Pettit told elected officials on a weekly conference call on Tuesday evening. “It takes a lot of hands to make it work. It looks like things are running very smooth. We should all be very proud of that.”

Genesee County next hosts a rapid testing clinic on Tuesday, Dec. 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Genesee County Emergency Management/Fire Training Center on State Street Road in Batavia. Click here for registration information.

The clinics in Orleans and Genesee are open to people outside the host county.