Fayette County able to ramp up drive-thru testing with new site and more capabilities

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Last Thursday, the Fayette County Health Department along with their local partners conducted drive-thru testing for COVID-19 and tested seven individuals all of which came back negative. 

The department was back at it again on Tuesday at a new location as they tested 10 more people.

For more room and better flow, their drive-thru tests are now being conducted at the J.W. & Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center off of Route 19.

Through a contract with LabCorp, Fayette County Health Officer Dr. Anita Stewart says that frees them up a bit as LabCorp allows them to use other means to transport the specimen.

“They actually changed some testing capability with commercial laboratories, so LabCorp is taking specimens in saline in a sterile container which really opens up a lot of testing opportunity,” she said. 

Some of the tests from Tuesday will go to LabCorp and others will go to the state depending on the urgency of the patient as the state has a quicker turnaround.

One thing that stayed the same: Mt. Hope EMS workers doing the swabbing in full productive gear. Even when a patient needed her vitals checked, one paramedic even put on more. 

The health department’s administrator Teri Harlan says these partnerships and the task force they have formed with first responders and healthcare workers have been the secret to their success. 

“There’s so many partners that have come together and just done whatever it takes to get this done and to take care of our community,” Harlan said. 

Just like last time, those who came through had been screened by the health department beforehand and had an appointment and were checked in by a deputy with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department. 

The patients tested for flu first in the drive-thru. When that test came back negative, they came back through for a  COVID-19 test.

When they receive that result back in a few days, it could be the county’s first case or it could be negative like the previous cases. Dr. Stewart is advising those patients with negative results to still take care and take precaution. 

“They would be, you know, staying home, kind of caring for themselves making sure they’re staying hydrated, using Tylenol or Motrin for fever or pain relief, and then just over–the-counter medications and then once their fever free for 24 hours, they are able to resume normal activities just like a normal infection or cold would be.” 

The tests from Tuesday could return anywhere from 2-7 days depending on if it was taken to the state lab or picked up by LabCorp.

The department plans to continue testing on Thursday. If you are experiencing symptoms, and think you need to be tested, you can call the health department at (304) 574-1617.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.