DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — Community partners are hoping to make COVID-19 testing more accessible and more widespread throughout central Ohio.
On Saturday, hundreds of cars lined up outside of John Sells Middle School and Indian Run Elementary School in Dublin for drive-thru pop-up testing.
“There was a pretty big line for about an hour before it opened up, which is a testimony to the need,” said Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel.
McDaniel explained the city has also been fielding phone calls inquiring about free testing. As the state continues to reopen and some students and employees prepare to return to school and work, the city wanted to offer the option close to home.
“As people are out more and more, I think more testing is needed and should be more accessible,” McDaniel said.
The city partnered with Dublin City Schools, Franklin County Public Health and PrimaryOne Health for the pop-up site. It was manned by staff and volunteers, who helped drivers navigate through the parking lots. Their goal was to move each vehicle through the line in less than a minute.
“Having quick access to testing is something the public generally wants,” McDaniel said.
A clinician explained the process and individuals administered their own tests, swabbing the inside of the nose and sealing it in a vial with chemical reagents. PrimaryOne Health CEO Charleta Tavares said the health center uses PCR testing, which samples enough DNA to directly detect an active COVID-19 virus. She explained test results are typically available within three days and the method is more accurate than a rapid test.
“If we really want to stop the spread of COVID-19, we have to provide testing so folks know who has an active COVID test, has COVID, and then they can self-quarantine,” she said.
Unlike some of the hospital systems, the PrimaryOne pop-up testing welcomed those without symptoms.
Tavares said, “We are testing everyone and anyone. And the reason it’s so important is because some people don’t show any symptoms and don’t even know they have it and they may even have it.”
Tracking the cases and tracing the exposure from the virus has become a critical step for health officials hoping to prevent its spread.
“It takes those kinds of partnerships to ensure that we’re not spreading from suburb to city, city to suburb because we all live in this community together,” Tavares said.
PrimaryOne Health is considering logistics and the availability of testing supplies before scheduling its next pop-up testing site. PrimaryOne Health clinics offer testing every week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Find more details here.