EATON — Eaton High School was host to COVID-19 pop-up testing for Preble County on Thursday, July 23, the first of its kind in the county thus far.
With four lanes of testing available, cars were lined up throughout the parking lot before testing began at 9 a.m.
Preble County Health Commissioner Erik Balster said the Preble County Public Health Department had the capacity for at least 400 tests with additional tests in reserve, and he said they administered approximately 315 tests.
Balster said the request for pop-up testing in Preble County was a result of public demand for testing since COVID-19 began to impact the country earlier this year.
“Since March or since COVID-19 became an issue of public attention, people in this county have asked where in the county can we go to get a test, and physician’s offices and even the ER here weren’t able to test people in a fashion that was either timely or even possible and the demand has increased over time,” he said.
Once testing became an available resource from the state, Balster said the Preble County Public Health Department thought it would be a good idea to meet the demand for testing from the county.
“As a health department, we submitted a request to our assets in the region,” Balster said. “The state provided assets to their each region in the state, and we requested it to our Regional Coordinator and set it up through the Ohio National Guard.”
Balster said that the Ohio National Guard were the ones doing the specimen collection and the testing itself while the Preble County Public Health Department worked on facilitating the testing and getting lab work filled out.
The tests were sent to Dayton Children’s Hospital after Thursday’s pop-up testing. Results had not yet been received by the Preble County Public Health Department at press time Monday, July 27.
For those who were unable to get tested or want to get tested in the future, Balster said further pop-up testing could be done in Preble County if there is a need.
“And the other thing I want to point out is that if this is successful, even if we don’t use every test, we will have the opportunity to have more of these pop-up testing events if there is a need for it, or if there’s a demand for it from the public,” he said.
The testing in Preble County comes on the heels of the second death from COVID-19 in the county as reported in the July 22 update from the Preble County Public Health Department.
“It’s unfortunate that there was another death related to this,” Balster said. “Other than that fact — I guess it just reminds us that it is a very real disease. It does have effects on people out here. I guess it’s kind of a reminder that things like masks and hand hygiene and distancing are still important, because, you know, not everyone has the greatest immunity and, you have to watch out for everybody in this.”
More information can be found online at https://www.preblecountyhealth.org/.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles