Free rapid COVID-19 testing starts in the city of Rochester Saturday

Dec 3, 2020

A National Guard staffer at the state-run coronavirus testing site at Monroe Community College's Brighton campus directs a driver through the parking lot.
Credit Max Schulte/WXXI News

The City of Rochester and Monroe County are teaming up to offer free, rapid COVID-19 tests to asymptomatic individuals at four sites, starting at East High School on Saturday.

Dr. Cephas Archie, Rochester's chief equity officer, said the testing will be modeled after the state’s program at Monroe Community College, and will offer drive-up and walk-in testing.

He said when it comes to coronavirus testing, the city knows it’s facing some hurdles that neighboring towns may not.

``Sometimes we have more challenges, socioeconomic, certain specific barriers of transportation,” he said. ``So we’re going to have to do more than our counterparts in the towns to increase the access and remove some of those barriers.”

Archie said that’s why the city is offering the free testing at four sites on 15 different days this month to give as many people as possible access to the test.

Registration is strongly encouraged by calling 311 or going to the Monroe County website.

The city said those who don’t register can be accommodated until site capacities are full.

But Archie added that no one will be turned away from a test.

Archie said those who test negative will be notified within 72 hours, while those who test positive can expect to be notified within 20 minutes of taking the test.

Archie says the site will be modeled after the state’s drive-up program at the Monroe Community College campus in Brighton. But no appointment is necessary.Credit Credit Max Schulte / WXXI NewsEdit | Remove

“Those that do test negative, they will be contacted by then.  But those that are positive … we will immediately implement and follow through with the department (of) health’s protocols that are in place regarding notification as well as contact tracing and support efforts that go forth at that point,” he said. 

Here are the sites and times for the COVID-19 rapid testing program in Rochester:

•            East High School, 1801 E. Main St., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19.
•            Benjamin Franklin High School, 950 Norton St., 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28.
•            Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School, 501 Genesee St., 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Dec. 8, 15, 22 and 29.
•            Jefferson High School, 1 Edgerton Park, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30.