Where you can get a COVID test in Springfield as appointments fill up

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield-Greene County Health Department and hospital leaders say the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb. However, it appears many in Springfield want to get tested before the holidays. The health department announced Monday, appointments for its Celebrate Safely Testing Event are full. There are other opportunities to get tested in Springfield listed on the department’s website.

Local pharmacies are saying they still have tests available leading up to Christmas.

“We’ve had a lot of people that are traveling that need more specifically the PCR tests,” Alps Clinical
Pharmacist at Specialty Pharmacy Todd Nix said. “We’re probably one of a few places that can do PCR tests on site and have the results back within the hour for people. The PCR test we can do somewhere around 15 a day. That’s just here in Nixa. Our Springfield site does the same tests and they have availability throughout the day and they’re open earlier and later than we are.”

Nix said Alps can do up to 40 COVID tests a day, which includes rapid antigen tests, antibody tests, and flu/covid tests.

“We’ve seen an increase not only in COVID testing but I would say testing overall,” Nix said. “There are staunch differences in the tests though. If you’re coming in to get what we commonly hear as a rapid test which we call an antigen test, you can be exposed to someone a couple of days ago and you might not show positive on that test. But, that test does have some sort of a false negative because you have to have a certain viral load in order for that to test positive. So PCR [tests] are typically going to pick up on asymptomatic individuals that maybe were exposed to the virus and maybe don’t have any signs or symptoms yet.”

Nix said even if testing appointments are full, call the pharmacy to see if you can still get in.

“Most places in this season are trying to accommodate people as best as possible so if that means coming in or staying late, we usually try to do it,” Nix said.

According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s Recovery Dashboard, an average of 106 people per day are getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in Greene County. The dashboard also says there are 111 people who are hospitalized in Springfield due to the virus. Just more than 50% of people in Greene County who are older than five are fully vaccinated.

CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards tweeted Monday that there are 66 patients hospitalized at Cox with COVID-19. Edwards says 95 percent of those patients, or 63 of them, are not vaccinated and cautioned holiday gatherings will drive the spread.

Meanwhile, at Mercy Hospital, there are 52 patients who are positive with COVID-19 in the hospital, according to Erik Frederick, with Mercy. Five people died of COVID-19 at Mercy yesterday, bringing Mercy to 22 COVID-19 deaths in December.

As of Monday, December 21, there has not been a case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 identified in Greene County.

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