Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce to give free masks, test-kits to local businesses

Editor’s Note: Since this article was published, the giveaway happened. Watch the video in the player below to see how it went (mobile users, click here):

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Later this week, local businesses can get some free masks and rapid test kits through the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce at the Rochester Red Wings VIP parking lot.

The drive-up distribution event will be Thursday, Jan. 6 from noon to 3 p.m. and it will be first come, first served.

Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said it should be a smooth process and the biggest worry right now is not having enough supplies for everyone.

“I think the spread right now, the numbers are scary so we want people to be safe and businesses have a responsibility to help keep a safe environment,” Duffy said.

Duffy said this giveaway is for all local businesses and supplies are intended for essential and public-facing employees who show documentation of their business.

“Hopefully they will give us a card when you come by. There’s going to be 100 masks and 30 kits to each business and that’s the max for each one that comes up and if they need less that’ll be great but that’s the max they’ll give,” Duffy said.

The chamber is working with Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Naomi Silver with the Rochester Red Wings for this drive-thru event.

About 330,000 masks in total were supplied by the state.

“We can continue day to day lives as close to normal as possible if we support our small businesses by, our employers, restaurants and workplaces by getting vaccinated, boosted, and wearing a mask indoors and please take a test,” Bello said during his briefing last week.

A total of 10,000 rapid test kits and 30,000 KN95 masks will be given out for free.

Duffy said non-profits are also welcome to get supplies.

“We’re looking to reach our business community and get them out so we’re not going to turn away not-for-profits either and I would say probably 75% are affiliated with the Chamber,” Duffy said.

Duffy is encouraging people to get there early and said the one thing he worries about is running out before the end of the giveaway period.

“I think the turnout is going to be very, very strong and we’re hoping we don’t run out too soon and again it’s a great way to have an opportunity to give these businesses something for free because they have accrued so many expenses,” Duffy said.

The giveaway will be located at 1 Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, New York 14614 and no signup is required.

Aside from this giveaway, Monroe County is planning on giving out more KN95 masks to essential workers and first responders.