Logan County Health District officials staffing a Pop-Up COVID-19 testing event Thursday morning at the Logan County Fairgrounds said the free event helped to fulfill a need for easier access to coronavirus testing that is difficult to find in the local community.
Toward the end of the three-hour event that was hosted in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health and with testing administered by the Ohio National Guard, approximately 80 vehicles had passed through the drive-thru area, with a rush in the beginning and then a steady but slower flow of participants in the final two hours.
A number of the individuals who received the anterior nasal swab test had been experiencing possible symptoms of the virus and as a result, were asked to self-quarantine until they receive their results in 48 to 72 hours, LCHD Deputy Health Commissioner Donna Peachey related.
Those tested included all ages, including children, and while many of the participants were local, some also traveled from other counties, and even some from out-of-state. No doctor’s order was needed for the testing.
LCHD Nursing Director Kelly Reaver said she had been in touch with the Ohio Department of Health regarding hosting the event, as she often has to send individuals with COVID-19 symptoms out of the county for testing, to locations such as Union County, Champaign County, Allen County and Franklin County.
In addition, she has found almost on a daily basis, individuals with symptoms are denied access to testing because they are not “sick enough to qualify.”
“We’re very glad that we can help offer this event today, as we’re here to help our county and to protect the health of our residents,” Reaver said. “With as smooth as everything is running today, including the Ohio National Guard being so efficient and helpful and all of the registration assistance from the Logan County Emergency Management Agency, I’d say that we would be up for hosting another event even in a month from now, if that was a possibility.”
Local law enforcement, including the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and Bellefontaine Police Department, also provided traffic control and other assistance during the morning.
Prior to the event, deputies supervised as Logan County Jail inmates placed cones to direct traffic throughout the fairgrounds.
The nursing director said the set-up and carrying out this exercise also is beneficial in preparing to host vaccination clinics in a similar drive-thru style, whether for influenza vaccines or once a COVID-19 vaccine is available.
For individuals with a positive result from Thursday’s testing, they will receive a phone call from a health district representative as soon as the results are received from the lab.
Negative test results will be communicated by accessing the Lab Corps Patient Portal, with instructions provided at the time of testing.
Reaver said while the testing was free to participants, individuals’ insurance companies will be billed when possible so that the federal CARES Act grant funding can be stretched as far as possible.
Governor Mike DeWine’s Office also provided goodie bags for the participants that included hand-sanitizer and face masks.
Health officials said symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
COVID-19 questions can be directed to the Logan County Health District’s call center at (937) 592-9040 option 1, which is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.