Summit County announces mobile coronavirus testing
DILLON — Summit County is now conducting mobile COVID-19 virus testing, and expanding test collection and processing operations.
The county has signed on with Stadium Medical to begin conducting door-to-door testing for the new coronavirus throughout the community, allowing sick individuals to stay at their homes instead of traveling to a medical provider. The county also has contracted with Quest Diagnostics to begin processing tests for the county, allowing officials to expand testing criteria to include more members of the community.
The new service began Monday, according to county spokesperson Julie Sutor.
“The county has taken on these roles in order to provide our local public health experts with better roadmaps by which to navigate through this emergency and protect the health of our community,” Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said in a release.
A Stadium Medical team will be traveling by ambulance to the residences of sick individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to collect samples. The teams will arrive in full protective equipment.
To be tested, individuals must contact their medical provider to receive a prescription for a test.
Over the past several weeks, testing has occurred at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and the Summit Community Care Clinic. The county initially considered setting up a drive-through testing site at the Summit County Medical Office Building but determined mobile testing would be more efficient, as long as tests are available.
“(Personal protective equipment) is in short supply across the country, so we want to be prudent in our use of these limited resources,” Wineland continued. “Mobile testing will enable us to conduct more testing more safely and with less (personal protective equipment).”
Previously only first responders, health care workers and hospitalized individuals could be tested. Now, the criteria has opened up to include patients in long-term care facilities, patients 65 or older, patients with underlying health conditions, critical infrastructure workers and individuals with moderate symptoms.
Moderate symptoms include dry cough, a fever above 100.4 degrees, chills and a strong desire to stay in bed, according to the public health department. Though ultimately it will be up to each individual’s health care provider to determine whether they are eligible for testing.
Officials believe expanded testing capabilities will help to clear up gaps in data and help officials to better understand how the disease has impacted Summit County.
“We’re very excited about these new capabilities because they’ll help give us a much clearer picture of the spread of disease in our community,” Wineland said.
All Summit County residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to log them in the county’s symptom tracker available on the county’s website.
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