Rochester, New York – A group of nurses waits, ready to give anyone who wants one a free COVID-19 test inside the gazebo at the Vineyard Farm and Center for Excellence. “We’ve seen quite a few people come in to get rapid tests,” registered nurse Francine Perkins said. “People are getting them before they see their families or going to church.”
Sister Marsha Allen, who helps run the vineyard farm, opened the testing site after she noticed COVIDS cases were increasing. “The variants are spreading through the community quickly, so we need to test and treat as quickly as possible,” Sister Allen said.
The Vineyard Farm is located off Sander Street in Rochester. It’s a neighborhood that Sister Allen says still has low vaccination rates.
According to Allen, making a testing site that’s accessible for this neighborhood was needed. “Our zip code is 1.8 miles,” she said. “We have lots of people with children, if they have to go somewhere they have to think about a babysitter or taking the day off work. This is within walking distance for a healthy person.”
According to sister Allen, the real rush is still coming. “We now know the pattern,” she said. “[On] Thanksgiving, people came together and realized it’s a problem when a couple of family members get sick. We’ll have a big increase come next weekend.”
Every weekend, the testing site is open to anyone and runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.