MCHD Now Operating Drive-Up COVID Testing Site

By Benjamin Cox on May 5, 2020 at 1:00pm

The Morgan County Health Department in conjunction with several organizations opened a COVID-19 drive-up testing site Friday. Morgan County Health Department Director Dale Bainter says that it will give officials more of a picture of COVID-19 in the county: “Anytime you increase testing, you’re definitely going to find more of what you’re looking for. As we increase the accessibility for our residents, it’s my thought we will see more cases. The good part about that is it gives us a chance to isolate those individuals who are sick or are positive, and hopefully then we can stop the spread.”

Those wishing to get tested at the drive-thru must call ahead between 9AM-3PM at 479-1817 to set up an appointment. Bainter says you can’t just call and show up, but he believes most appointments will happen the same day. “The goal for that call center is for us to be able to control environment, control who is coming through the testing center, make sure we’re prepared for you when you arrive so that we minimize that face-to-face contact, and also, we do a triage on the phone. We ask those applicable questions to make sure that you should be tested. The test kits are a finite resource at this moment. We are wanting to make sure that we are using them to the best of our ability to get a gauge for the activity of the virus in our community.”

The service will run from 10AM – 2PM Monday through Friday. Bainter says you do not have to be a Morgan County resident to use the testing clinic. Bainter says surrounding county residents would have their cases turned over to the county health department in the place in which they reside if they come in from outside the county.

Bainter says the best medicine right now is patience. “We need patience for our fellow community members. Patience for the retail markets, our food providers, fast food, grocery stores. Everyone is stressed right now. If we were all to take a step back and take a deep breath, do what’s right, be socially responsible – that will go a long way in fighting COVID-19.”

The Morgan County facility does not have the ability to antibody test right now, but Bainter says he hopes to get the capability in the near future.