This year, there’s a ‘holiday rush’ for rapid COVID tests

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GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Santa is not the only one checking a list. With Christmas just two days away and COVID cases continuing to increase across western new york many residents are rushing to get tested just as gatherings are about to happen.

“We have a family gathering this weekend and even though we’re all vaccinated we still want to make sure we’re negative,” said Peter O’Hare, who made an appointment today for a test.

O’Hare and his wife are taking the precautionary steps to ensure that they are safe and negative, as they’re about to embark on a holiday-filled weekend with loved ones hosting gatherings. Another resident, Maxwell, said a quick google search for rapid tests in Rochester did the trick for him before his trip.

“I mainly just want to get tested because I’m going back home to see family for Christmas. We’re going to two different households so bouncing between places, and it seems important just to know so everyone’s on the same page and safe,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell and Peter are just a couple of the hundreds today getting in that last-minute rapid COVID test.

“This morning we had 147 appointments created,” said Kenny Bray, pod manager for the Monroe Couty Health Department. “As of right now we have 226 walk-ins in total so we’re getting more walk-ins than appointments.”

The testing center was available Thursday morning and ended with nearly 270 people tested.

Bray says the rush of people wanting to get tested isn’t just because of the holiday, either.

“We do see a number of increases throughout the week because it is getting close to the holiday. Also, a lot of people are coming in due to traveling. There are people going on cruises, going outside of the country, so they also have to have those results in order to travel,” Bray said.

Holidays or travel, people are just excited to be safe and have some normalcy again.

“We’re excited to be confident that we’re safe and not have to worry about COVID because it’s been a crazy couple of years,” O’Hare said.

If you missed the rapid test Thursday afternoon, don’t worry, the public works building in the town of Irondequoit has available testing until 8 p.m. There are some other testing sites available on Friday and Christmas morning. For a list of locations and times, click here.