COVID-19 testing explained


In response to a letter printed recently from David Sears in Marengo, we wanted to address his concerns about COVID-19 testing in our community as we understand this is confusing for many people in our community.

First, it is important to note that testing for COVID-19 is guided by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). These agencies have established prioritization for testing based on availability and the impact on our communities.

Emphasis for testing is for those individuals who are most severely ill, patients who are moderately ill with a high risk of complications (the elderly and those with serious medical issues), and individuals who are critical to providing care and service to those who are ill.

Currently, Morrow County Hospital is the only location in the county with the supplies to perform COVID-19 testing. As established by ODH, an individual must have an order from a provider to be tested.

So, if you have symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing, chills or shaking, muscle pain, headaches, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or a new loss of taste or smell, please contact your primary care provider or Morrow County Hospital’s Emergency Department or Urgent Care facility.

Others wishing to be tested for COVID-19 have several options depending on their circumstances:

• Retail Pharmacies and Drug Stores – Some (but not all) including CVS, Kroger, Rite Aid, and Walmart stores may provide testing and require an assessment before scheduling an appointment. There may be a fee associated with this option.

• Community Health Centers – Some (but not all) Community Health Centers have partnered with the state to be a testing site and can be found on the ODH Coronavirus website (coronavirus.ohio.gov). Once you locate a testing site, it is important to call in advance to determine if they are testing and perhaps to schedule an appointment.

• Pop-up Testing Sites – The Governor’s COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force has established free temporary pop-up testing sites across the state. These are conducted by the Ohio National Guard with a focus on providing testing access in communities of color and other high-risk areas. Testing for this initiative is available to individuals with and without symptoms with no out-of-pocket cost. Information regarding these sites can also be found on the website listed above.

We wish there was a simpler process and that we had unlimited resources, but until then, our goal is to care for our most ill and vulnerable residents and educate the community on viable testing options. Stay safe.

Morrow County Hospital