WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (WCMH) – During recent COVID-19 updates, Gov. Mike DeWine has expressed concern about how much the coronavirus is spreading in Ohio’s rural counties.
On Monday, with the help of the Ohio National Guard, one of those counties held a pop-up testing event.
The Fayette County Fairgrounds was turned into a drive-through testing site on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. One barn was used for paperwork, with cars then driving into another one where testing was done.
“We’re here today because we’ve gone red and we’re in our second week of being red, so we felt like we were getting questions, people asking about testing and we thought we would have National Guard come down today to do free testing for everyone,” said Leigh Cannon, deputy health commissioner with Fayette County Public Health.
She said with limited access to testing in the county, the pop-up site gave people a more convenient option for a test. Fayette County ranks second-highest on the state’s most recent list of highest occurrence or cases per 100,000. Cannon said various family gatherings are to blame and hopes the testing gives them more information.
“I think the rural counties, we’re all kind of getting hit together,” she said. “It seems to me that people have just gotten relaxed over the past couple months, past couple weeks especially. So we’re really getting hit with that.”
Cannon said more residents were hospitalized because of COVID-19 with some needing to go to the ICU.
On Monday, 171 people were tested. Anyone could get a test for free whether they had symptoms or not.
“Everyone’s just gotten kind of comfortable and we just need to keep being reminded that it’s still very much here. Our residents are still very sick, we still have hospitalizations, so we need to just kind of tighten it back up a little bit,” Cannon said.
Another pop-up drive-through testing event is scheduled for the Fayette County Fairgrounds for Monday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.