Drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opens Monday

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Appointment must be made, screening questions answered

A drive-thru COVID-19 (coronavirus) testing site will open at the Barry County Health Department on Monday.

Roger Brock, Department administrator, said the facility recently received the appropriate materials and trainings from the state to enable staff to open the site, which will offer testing Tuesdays through Thursdays on the south side of the Department office in Cassville.

“If you or a loved one have mild respiratory symptoms suggesting coronavirus (COVID-19), such as a cough, low-grade fever or mild respiratory problems, please contact your primary care physician or contact us at the Barry County Health Department at 417-847-2114 to determine if you need a COVID-19 test. The Barry County Health Department is focused on supporting our residents as we respond to the spread of COVID-19 in every way we can.”

Brock said the test is a general nasal swab, not as evasive as the swabs that are pushed into the nasopharynx, which connects the back of the throat to the nasal cavity.

“Tests will be done by appointment,” Brock said. “People can call and talk to a member of our nursing staff, answer a questionnaire, and if they meet testing criteria, we will set up a time for them to go through the drive-thru site and get tested.”

Brock said upon arrival people tested will verify their name and birthday, then the test will be done with no need for patients to exit their vehicles. After the test is performed, there will be parking spots set up and results will be delivered after about 15 minutes.

The only cost associated with the test is $10 fee, as there is no insurance billing involved with the testing. Brock said the fee covers extra protective supplies purchased by the Health Department, like gowns.

“Please note that our testing capabilities will be limited to the number of test kits that we receive, however we will strive to test as many residents as we are able to,” Brock said. “Please remember if you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and self-isolate. Even if you do not have symptoms, we continue to ask for everyone to stay home as much as possible and to maintain a minimum of six feet of separation between yourself and others when you do go out.”

Distributed by the Department of Health and Senior Services, Abbott’s ID NOW COVID-19 test is performed on the ID NOW device. This test allows for medical diagnostic testing at the time and place of patient care, provides COVID-19 results in about 15 minutes and expands the capacity for coronavirus testing for individuals exhibiting symptoms, as well as for health care professionals and the first responder community.

Additionally, this will save personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure the state’s critical workforce is safe and able to support the response, as only gloves and a face mask are necessary to administer this rapid point-of-care test.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had announced earlier this month that it was purchasing the ID NOW COVID-19 rapid point-of-care test, developed by Abbott, for state, territorial and tribal public health labs.

“We are grateful that our federal partners were able to make these instruments available,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “In line with our strategy moving forward, these instruments have been deployed to local public health departments in areas that need increased access to testing as well as areas with a high concentration of first responders or clusters of cases in congregate living facilities.”

The device in Barry County may be used in other counties, as well. Barry, Newton, Lawrence, McDonald and Stone counties may use the device. Brock said it will start out in Barry County and out-of-county patients will also be tested. Of those counties, Newton has the most cases with 10, including one death. Barry County has six cases, McDonald has five, Stone has three and Lawrence has none.

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