Greene Co. to receive COVID-19 testing site as part of governor’s new plan to increase testing

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — On May 21, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced a plan to “rapidly” increase COVID-19 testing to 7,500 tests per day. The plan revolves around three main testing strategies, including setting up a testing site in Greene County.

“We cannot fully recover economically without increasing our testing numbers,” Parson said. “We have made great progress over the past month, but we must do more. The more testing we do, the more data and knowledge we have on the situation in Missouri, and the more confidence and reassurance we can give Missourians as we work through the recovery process.”

Any Missourian who wants to be tested with a nasal swab for COVID-19 can be tested at no cost. The only requirement is to be a Missouri resident. Individuals do not have to live in the county in which they’re tested and they don’t have to be experiencing symptoms.

The goal is to test around 10,000 people over a 10-day period in Boone, Cape Girardeau, Greene Jackson, Jefferson and St. Charles Counties.

  • Boone County 
    • June 1-2, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Hickman High School, Columbia
  • Cape Girardeau County
    • June 5, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Arena Park, Cape Girardeau
  • Greene County
    • June 4-5, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield
  • Jackson County
    • May 26-30, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Silverstein Eye Center Arena, Independence 
  • Jefferson County 
    • June 1-2, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Faith Community Church, House Springs 
    • June 3, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Hillsboro Civic Center, Hillsboro
  • St. Charles County
    • May 26-28, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., St. Charles County Public Health Department, St. Charles 
    • May 29-30, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.. The Youth Activity Park, Dardenne Prairie

Online pre-registration is encouraged. Those without access to online pre-registration can call the Missouri COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411.

The three main testing strategies are:

Box-in outbreaks

  • By “boxing-in” outbreaks in congregate living and long-term care facilities, the virus will be contained.
  • According to the governor’s office, there have been 163 long-term care facilities in Missouri with at least one positive case.
  • The goal is to execute facility-wide testing, with a target of 1,850 tests per day.

Sentinel testing

  • Performing testing on “vulnerable populations” at state-operated facilities, “specifically those overseen by the Department of Corrections, Department of Mental Health, Department of Social Services, and the Missouri Veterans Commission.”
  • The goal is to test approximately 1,440 people per day over a 10-day period.
  • According to the governor’s office, this testing will keep asymptomatic individuals from “unknowingly spreading the virus within the facility.”

Community sampling

  • Setting up test sites in various counties, Greene County being one of them, across the state where any Missouri resident can be tested, with or without symptoms.
  • The testing goal is set at approximately 975 tests per day over a 10-day period.
  • “Community sampling gives the state a better sense of COVID-19 prevalence in a given area, which will help guide its response and ease uncertainty for Missourians,” according to the governor’s office. “If prevalence is low, this will help reassure citizens that it is safe to begin re-engaging in the community and returning to somewhat normal operations.”

Parson said the more testing done in Missouri, the more knowledge officials will have on what the situation in Missouri actually looks like.

For more information on Missouri’s recovery plan, visit showmestrong.mo.gov.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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