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Rapid testing available in Penn Yan

YATES COUNTY--Yates County Health Director Deborah Minor informed the Yates County Legislature Monday, Dec. 14 about the current status of COVID-19 in the county. Yates had a seven-day positivity rate nearing seven percent last week as 17 new cases and an additional death were announced on Monday.
"We need to remind the public to be patient (waiting for a vaccine) because we will have to follow the priority groups as outlined by the New York Department of Health and the governor's office and we have yet to receive that...while we expect the rollout of the vaccination to start in the coming weeks... the general population in Yates will not (be able to access the vaccine) until the springtime, that's my best guess," Minor said.
Minor said the Finger Lakes region currently has the highest positivity rate.
"The Southern Tier region is at 2.3 percent," Minor said for a point of comparison.
Minor added the vaccines rolling out now will not be used on children.
"The vaccines [were] only tested for [people] 16 and older, so it is not authorized to be used on children," Minor said.
Along with the recently approved Pfizer vaccine, Minor said she expects the Food and Drug Administration to approve a vaccine developed by Moderna around Dec. 18, after two meetings are held on the federal level to discuss the matter.
"It can't be approved until those two meetings are held," Minor said.
While two vaccines might be available shortly, the Center for Disease Control has listed tiers of those who should receive the vaccine first.
"And the New York State Department of Health and the governor's office will also have their own guidelines listing who exactly fits into what criteria," Minor stated. "We have an idea of what it will look like but the actual guidelines have yet to be released by the state."
Under current CDC guidelines, the first people to receive the vaccine are listed as those either living in long-term health facilities, working at long-term health facilities and then followed by hospital workers, health care workers and first responders.
"We have to get the folks 65 and older before healthy young adults that don't fit into any of the categories," Minor mentioned.
Minor also announced Yates County will see an increase in testing capacity with the establishment of a rapid testing drive-through for asymptomatic people that will take place on Thursdays.
"It will be rapid point of care and free...It's by registration only and the registration link is on the county website," Minor said.
To help keep things at the drive-through moving along, Minor said swabs will be performed and results will then be phoned to those who participated roughly 15 minutes later.
"This way we can keep things moving along and not get a huge backup of cars waiting for results," Minor said.
If enough people participate Minor said the hours of operation of the drive-through would expand as needed.
Registration is available at:

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