Today is last scheduled rapid testing clinic in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 January 2021 at 9:00 am

County may add more testing clinics if needed, but will shift to vaccination clinics

There is a rapid Covid-19 testing clinic today from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. This is the last one scheduled by the Orleans County Health Department.

It will be shifting its focus to vaccination clinics, with the first one Thursday at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company. The appointments are full for that clinic where about 100 people will be vaccinated. That clinic will have the capacity to do 600 vaccinations a day once the county gets more vaccine doses, said Paul Pettit, the public health director for Orleans and Genesee.

“We’re ready to go it’s just a matter of getting the vaccine,” he said.

He praised local volunteers for stepping up to run the rapid test clinic and now the vaccination effort. More people are needed to run the vaccination clinics. Anyone interested in volunteered at the vaccination clinics can reach out to Justin Niederhofer, deputy director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office, at (585) 589-4414.

The county has been testing about 500 people at the weekly clinics at the Fairgrounds. As of 8:50 this morning, there were still 66 spots open. Click here to register and click here to fill out a form from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

Pettit said the county and region’s daily new Covid cases and percentage of positive tests have been trending downward. He expects the governor today to announce some restrictions to be lifted in the micro-cluster zones in Genesee, Niagara, Monroe and Erie counties. Orleans wasn’t designated in one of those zones.

He said public health officials around the state has been frustrated by the “very slow” distribution of the vaccines so far.

“It is an issue throughout the state,” he said on a conference call Tuesday evening with local officials. “Rural, urban it doesn’t matter. We are all proportionally hurting.”

The supply so far from the federal government has been “anemic,” Pettit said.

“The volume we’re getting is a pittance of what we need,” he said.

Orleans received 200 doses this week, but the Health Department is putting in requests for thousands of vaccine doses.

“We’re doing what we can to advocate from our end,” Pettit said. “Everybody is in the same boat.”