Taylor County's drive thru COVID testing now free for participants


GRAFTON—Taylor County residents will be able to take advantage of another free COVID-19 testing event, in accordance with Governor Jim Justice’s wishes for all West Virginians to undergo testing.

According to Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn, beginning on Monday, September 28, residents will be able to undergo the testing 100 percent free of charge.

“Beginning Monday, we are going to be switching up the way that we are doing our testing at the drive thru site,” said Thorn. “We will be offering completely free, no insurance, no cost testing.”

Participants will be able to undergo the testing from noon until 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Attendees are asked to bring with them identification such as a driver’s license or proof of address, to aid in the returning of lab results.

“Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis. These will not be the rapid tests that we have been using,” Thorn noted. “These will by PCR nasal swab tests that will be sent out to QLabs every day.” 

Those taking part in the testing will receive their results typically within 1-3 days. According to Thorn, the same procedure to obtaining results will be followed as in the last free testing event.

For those who took part in the free testing event, accessing results can be done so through wv.getmycovidresult.com

Participants can simply log on to the site with their identification number, making sure to include the QL and all digits including zeroes. 

Officials remind individuals that QLabs cannot provide any patient information and results must be accessed on the website. The lab will not release information over the phone or through the mail.

“We hope to be able to do this for the foreseeable future, but we were told that it would occur at least throughout the winter,” Thorn revealed. “This will be conducted as part of Governor Justice’s initiative to increase testing opportunities.”

He noted that the funding to conduct these free tests is being provided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

“The most appropriate testing for residents who may be asymptomatic, are required by their employer to undergo testing or those who may have traveled, even if they have no symptoms, would be this free drive thru testing,” noted Dr. David Bender, County Health Officer.

He did however note that those individuals who believe they have been directly exposed to the Coronavirus should seek testing through Grafton City Hospital, as they will be utilizing the rapid test.

It was reiterated that first responders, healthcare providers and school personnel will be prioritized when it comes to ensuring they receive rapid testing.

Dr. Peter Wenzel revealed that the office at Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers, Inc, has received the COVID antigen tests, that will help identify those who have had a known contamination from the virus. 

“Obviously, these are not great for screening purposes, but will help with those active cases,” he said. “In another month, we should have our molecular PCR tests in house, which will give us the ability to conduct a rapid PCR panel that includes flu, RSV, strep and COVID.”

Thorn noted that now is a great time for everyone to undergo the testing, sharing that while numbers have slowed, the county continues to add additional cases of COVID.

Those wishing to take part of the free testing can visit the drive thru testing site located at the First Baptist Church, on Rt. 119 South, just outside of Grafton.

“While we may all be working different testing aspects, we are all part of the same team, and our goal is to ensure the health and safety of the residents of Taylor County,” he imparted. 

 

 

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