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coronavirus testing

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Two types of testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 are increasingly accessible in the Rochester area.

One is the test that looks for the virus, allowing doctors to diagnose whether a person is currently infected. The other searches for antibodies, which indicate whether a person was already exposed and fought the virus off.

Seth Wenig / AP

Both hospital systems in the Rochester area say they now have more supply than demand for their coronavirus lab tests. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said supply was outpacing demand across New York state, and last week the state health department expanded its guidance for who should be tested.

Andy Ophardt, who manages a primary care clinic in Brighton, said he used to field frequent questions from patients asking about how to get tested for the virus. He had to call testing sites to confirm that people his office referred met an exacting set of criteria.

Common Ground Health, a Rochester nonprofit organization, began screening people for COVID-19 symptoms at free clinics around the city on Saturday.

The organization stressed that the screenings are not coronavirus tests. Rather, they’re meant to detect early signs of COVID-19 in populations where the disease is taking the greatest toll.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

The New York state health department is constructing drive-through coronavirus testing sites in five upstate counties, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Several details were still unclear. The state health department and the governor’s office said the facilities would be opening this week in Monroe, Erie, Broome, Niagara and Oneida counties, but they did not respond to questions about why those particular counties were chosen.

The health department also did not set a more specific timeline for the facilities’ opening or answer questions about where the sites would be set up.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Administrators at two Rochester health providers said Tuesday that they are opening clinics in areas of the city where many people of color live.

Jordan Health and Trillium Health said the clinics are designed to give people of color easier access to testing and treatment for COVID-19.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The New York state health department has been testing shoppers at the East Avenue Wegmans store as part of an effort to gauge the prevalence of the novel coronavirus in New York.

The Rochester Wegmans is one of “approximately 20” grocery stores across the state where the health department said it’s collecting blood samples from volunteers to see if they have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

The health department said it will collect samples from about 150 people at each testing site.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Laboratories

One-eighth of all the COVID-19 deaths in Monroe County were residents at a single nursing home: St. John’s Home in Rochester, according to data published Friday by the New York state health department.

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew at St. John’s, the home expanded testing for the novel coronavirus, finding it in several residents who had no symptoms of the disease.

At least eight people have died of COVID-19 at the home, according to the state’s data.

Max Schulte / WXXI News


As laboratories in Monroe County slowly increased the number of coronavirus tests they can run, a nursing home in Rochester began submitting more samples.

St. John’s Home said Thursday that it had received results for almost 90 tests. Of those, 23 came back positive.

Some tests were submitted for residents who had no symptoms of COVID-19.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

The University of Rochester Medical Center’s pathology lab has begun processing coronavirus tests for nursing home residents who have no symptoms of COVID-19.

Previously, a limited supply of testing materials had restricted local labs almost exclusively to testing people with symptoms of the disease.

University of Rochester Medical Center

The number of tests that laboratories in Monroe County can run for the novel coronavirus is slowly increasing.

Administrators at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s central laboratory said they have begun using automated testing that can process several times more samples than the manual tests the lab had been running.

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