The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, along with the Missouri National Guard, performed free drive-through community testing for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, last week at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Troy.
The testing was open to all Missouri residents, and they did not have to have COVID-19 symptoms to be eligible for testing with a nasal swab for the infection.
“The community-testing event went very well,” said Sarah Valenza, public information director for the Lincoln County Health Department. “We had about 321 individuals tested at the fairgrounds over two days.
“We thank everyone who came out to be tested.”
Valenza also said the Missouri National Guard and DHSS were more than helpful in assisting the community in tackling COVID-19.
“All of the logistics were taken care of by the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services,” she said, “We are very thankful for their assistance in making testing more available to our residents. They were extremely helpful.”
The results of the testing were better than expected for the LCHD, but residents still need to continue protecting themselves from exposure to the virus. Those who receive a positive test should stay home, isolate themselves and call their health care provider if they have any concerns.
“There were zero cases as a result of our community testing,” Valenza said. “While this is great news for our county, we are continuing to receive case reports not associated with the community-testing event.
“Residents should continue to take actions to protect themselves and their community such as washing their hands, staying six feet apart from others not in their home, and wearing a mask in public.”
Valenza also thanked Lincoln County’s residents for adhering to the safeguards the LCHD put in place after the state’s Phase 2 reopening plan went into effect on June 15.
“We are very thankful for the hard work of our residents in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “We are hopeful that these actions will continue to keep our case counts low for as long as possible.”
Beginning on June 8, 21 counties statewide conducted testing over a two-week period. DHSS stated the goal was to test 10,900 people over those two weeks. According to DHSS, location selection for that period of community sampling was based on inadequate testing according to the number of confirmed cases and the number of total tests conducted prior to these events.
Counties which hosted the community testing events, in addition to Lincoln County, were Scott, Platte, Stoddard, Carter, Ripley, Cass, Franklin, Johnson, Pettis, Lafayette, Ray, Warren, Carroll, Chariton, Lewis, Moniteau, Pike, Scotland, Montgomery and Osage counties.
Due to the success of the community-testing event, the LCHD hasn’t ruled out collaborating with DHSS and the Missouri National Guard again.
“While we do not currently have plans for another testing event, we would definitely partner with the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services again if given the opportunity,” Valenza said.