Saline County to test 400 people, with or without symptoms, for COVID-19

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MARSHALL - The Saline County Health Department, along with Katy Trail Community Health, are providing COVID-19 testing for 400 county residents Tuesday. 

The first 400 people that take the online survey to pre-register will be tested. Tara Brewer, administrator for the Saline County Health Department, said symptoms are not required in order to get tested.

"There is zero criteria at this point except for being a Saline County citizen," she said. "That's the interesting part of all of this, I think we're going to learn and see how many people have COVID-19 without having any symptoms."

On Facebook, several community members, including Mandi Gaddy, commented on the plan, saying they did not think testing individuals without symptoms would be the best use of the 400 tests. 

"Why would we test the entire county if individuals have no signs or symptoms, aren't considered high risk, and have no contact with a positive case?" she asked.

Brewer said the idea is to focus on the data and find all the active cases in the county. 

"If we make it a first come, first serve then we can get the entire community involved, instead of targeting certain areas," she said. "That's why it's wide open to everyone." 

Brewer said the county will test 200 residents Tuesday and 200 on Wednesday.

Gaddy commented on Facebook asking if this would exhaust the supply of tests causing a shortage of resources while the virus is spreading. Brewer said everything Saline County is using was provided by the state of Missouri.

"The state has provided us with everything we need for these community testing sites, we have PPE's available, as well as all of our testing kits," she said. "We've got a certain amount of product, but everything we are using the state has given us." 

As of Monday, Saline County has a total of 171 positive cases, 43 recovered cases, and 128 active cases.