State extends community testing to 21 counties
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - The first round of open state testing in six counties around the state has resulted in 107 positive tests from 9,483 people tested, state officials reported.
The community COVID-19 testing events were held at Hickman High School and five other counties since late last week. Under the state testing program, those tested did not have to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms nor did they have to be residents of the counties where the testing occurred.
Boone County reported eight new cases for COVID-19 on Friday. There are now 177 total cases, with 40 active cases, according to the county's COVID-19 information hub. Of the total cases, 30 contracted COVID-19 via travel, 89 from contact with a confirmed case, 51 through community transmission and seven are unknown.
In the press release announcing the open testing results, the state Department of Health and Senior Services announced that the state will begin more community testing events for 21 counties at no cost to participants. Beginning June 8, the state aims to test 10,900 over a two-week period at these county events.
Gov. Mike Parson has touted the benefits of testing large groups around the state. During a press briefing Wednesday, Parson noted that the rate of positive COVID-19 cases had decreased from 10% despite more individuals being tested. The state reports that the positive test rate has dropped to 6.3% as of Friday.
“I will stress and keep stressing that testing is so important for the future of our state, to get the economy back, get people back to work, to get the businesses open – it will all rely on testing,” Parson said at the briefing.
The community tests will be done with nasal swabs. Appointments must be made for the testing events, which may be done online through the department's registration site. Those without online access can call the Missouri COVID-19 hotline for registration at 877-435-8411.
A Missouri residency is the only requirement, and people do not have to live in the county where they are tested. People also don’t have to be experiencing symptoms to be tested.
Locations for the next round of testing were selected by determining if certain areas had inadequate testing relative to the number of confirmed cases and total tests conducted, according to a press release.
The press release said counties with upcoming events are Scott, Platte, Stoddard, Carter, Ripley, Cass, Franklin, Johnson, Pettis, Lafayette, Ray, Warren, Carroll, Chariton, Lincoln, Lewis, Moniteau, Pike, Scotland, Montgomery and Osage.