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Free public COVID-19 testing underway

Messenger Post Media

The Public Health Departments of Ontario, Yates and Seneca counties have announced free COVID-19 testing for the public beginning this week. 

Each county has organized asymptomatic testing opportunities throughout the region. In addition, the counties have partnered with Finger Lakes Community Health (FLCH) to add additional asymptomatic testing opportunities in more locations.

Victor-Farmington Ambulance will add a site in Ontario County. 

Testing availability for asymptomatic people has been challenging for these communities, said Mary Beer, public health director of Ontario County, with many who seek testing having to make lengthy trips to Monroe County.

Deb Minor, public health director of Yates County, and county officials said they are thankful FLCH has expanded its hours to support the effort.

“We’ve heard from so many of our residents that it is difficult for asymptomatic individuals to get a COVID-19 test,” Minor said.

Ontario County will conduct testing for any asymptomatic individual at the County Transportation Center, 2930 County Road 48, Hopewell, from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays.

Victor-Farmington Ambulance will have testing from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays at its facility, 1321 East Victor Road, Victor. Again, only people who have no signs of illness can participate at this testing site.

“Victor Farmington Volunteer Ambulance is the first and only ambulance agency in the region approved by the New York State Department of Health to conduct COVID-19 antigen testing and we are pleased to be able to offer this important service at no cost to our community” said Deputy Chief Jared Palmer.

On Thursdays, FLCH will offer rapid testing from Public Health to anyone at its Geneva location and also in Seneca and Yates counties. 

Test results from all locations will be communicated within 24 hours. Only individuals who have no signs of illness can participate at these testing sites. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of any illness and want to be tested you should go to your physician or to an urgent care location. 

In addition, each county is planning on hosting community testing events. Events are starting this week and preregistrations will be required. 

The times and dates may change due to scheduling and staffing, but the counties are committed to these additional offerings. 

“We will keep our public health Facebook pages updated with the most current information on events,” Beer said. “We hope our residents will share this information with their friends and family as well.” 

Information on the testing sites as well as required preregistration is available at http://www.s2aynetwork.org/community-testing.html. The public health departments are also looking for volunteers to help staff these events. If you’re interested in helping out at a testing event, please contact the S2AY Rural Health Network at info@s2aynetwork.org. 

If you do not have access to a computer or have difficulty registering, please contact the Ontario County Workforce Development office at 585-396-4020 for assistance.