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COVID-19 tests continue without Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department events

PARKERSBURG — With its attention focused on vaccinations, the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department hasn’t offered many free COVID-19 testing events recently.

But testing remains available and important, said Carrie Brainard, threat preparedness coordinator for the department. Anyone who has symptoms of the novel coronavirus or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested so they can be quarantined if necessary, she said.

“We want people to know whether they have” it, Brainard said. “We do have people out there that don’t show any symptoms.”

For months, the department organized testing events in the six counties it serves – Calhoun, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood. But with vaccinations beginning in early January and thousands wanting to sign up, more resources are being applied to that effort.

Even though the state has taken over registration, Brainard said health department personnel remain busy scheduling vaccination appointments and administering the inoculations.

Fruth pharmacies in Mineral Wells and Spencer and Walgreens in Parkersburg and Vienna are offering free tests by appointment, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Free tests are also available at Minnie Hamilton Health System in Grantsville and Ritchie Regional Health Center in Harrisville.

Testing events were held this week in Pleasants and Wirt counties with the help of West Virginia University, Brainard said.

In Wood County, testing is done at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center’s Rosemar Circle facility with a doctor’s order and at MedExpress locations in Parkersburg and Vienna. In those cases, insurance is billed or individuals without insurance pay for the tests themselves.

Although the Health Department has been having fewer free testing events, a review of testing statistics published by the state does not show an overall decline in the number of tests since late November, although they do fluctuate from week to week.

Wood County peaked with just over 5,000 tests from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3. In the weeks since, the number of tests reported by the state have been between 3,335 and 3,962.

State data showed 116 tests in Pleasants County between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and just 91 from Jan. 22-28. In other weeks since Nov. 21, Pleasants County has seen as many as 582, but Brainard attributed the higher numbers to testing in response to an outbreak at St. Marys Correctional Center.

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COVID-19 testing options by county:

Calhoun

* Minnie Hamilton Health System, 186 Hospital Drive, Grantsville; 9 a.m to noon Tuesdays.

Ritchie

* Ritchie Regional Health Center, 135 South Penn Ave., Harrisville; noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; also available by appointment 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; 304-643-4005.

Roane

* Fruth, 218 Market St., Spencer; appointment: www.doineedacovid19test.com/Spencer–WV–2044.html

* Roane County Family Health Care, 146 Williams Drive, Spencer; 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Wood

* Fruth, 1506 Elizabeth Pike, Mineral Wells; appointment: www.doineedacovid19test.com/Mineralwells–WV–1543.html

* MedExpress,1500 Grand Central Ave., Suite 115, Vienna, 304-485-3627; 2832 Pike St., Suite 1, Parkersburg, 304-489-3815. Billed to insurance or self-pay for those without insurance.

* Walgreens, 3400 Dudley Ave., Parkersburg; appointment: www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing

* Walgreens, 2300 Grand Central Ave., Vienna; appointment: www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing

* WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center, Rosemar Medical Plaza, 4 Rosemar Circle, Parkersburg; must have a doctor’s order from a WVU Medicine primary care provider or call 304-598-6000, #4, to reach a provider who can assess a person’s situation and provide an order, if applicable. Billed to insurance or self-pay for those without insurance.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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