The Payne County Health Department will be conducting local COVID-19 surge testing thanks to a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and eTrueNorth.
The first testing, which will be drive-through but require an appointment, will be Saturday at the Payne County Health Department building at 1321 W. 7th Ave. There will also be testing the following Saturday, Dec. 5, at the same location. Both time periods will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We want to thank HHS for its continued support in protecting the health and safety of all Oklahomans,” Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. said in a press release. “Across the country, we are experiencing aggressive, rapid, and expanding community spread of COVID-19, including here in Oklahoma. We must do everything we can to flatten the curve, to sustain the health system for both COVID and non-COVID emergencies. Focused testing is key to interrupting the current surge, including the identification of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. In addition to getting tested, we strongly urge Oklahomans to wear a mask at all times in public, increase physical distancing through significant reduction in capacity in public and private indoor spaces, wash your hands frequently, and get a flu shot.”
According to the OSDH release, the surge testing is being conducted in “communities experiencing a major uptick in cases and hospitalizations.”
As of Tuesday morning, OSDH reports 594 active COVID-19 cases in Payne County, close to the highest number of active cases since the pandemic began. Stillwater Medical Center has been in surge protocol for more than a month. Stillwater Medical on Monday reported 21 beds in use in the COVID-19 unit, though the ICU admissions had been reduced by three. Stillwater Public Schools has also entered back into the Red level for distance learning the week after Thanksgiving.
The testing for the next two Saturdays is free, but requires sign up at doineedacovid19test.com.
According to the release, the testing will be self-administered via a nasal swab. It also requires individuals to enter from South Blakely Street and remain in the vehicle at all times.
Results are expected by email in 3-5 business days.