Fayette County Health Dept. tests 185 at first community-wide testing event in Smithers

SMITHERS, WV (WOAY) – The Fayette County Health Department, along with their local partners on the county’s COVID-19 Task Force, conducted community-wide testing for the very first time in Smithers in the parking lot of Valley PK-8. 

“Due to the outbreak here at the Montgomery General Hospital, this was a community that we really needed to focus our efforts and provide community wide testing so that’s why we’re here today,” health department administrator Teri Harlan said. 

Community-wide testing means it was open to anyone, no symptoms or appointment or doctor’s order required.

Anyone could drive up and be swabbed, which of course resulted in a large turnout as they conducted 185 tests. 

When the results come in, the health department will have a better idea about what the spread looks like in the area, especially for potential asymptomatic carriers who could have the virus without symptoms.

Smithers Mayor Anne Cavalier was one of the first to be tested on Wednesday and shared her experience. 

“It actually was very easy,” Cavalier said. “I think anytime you go through a medical procedure, you’re scared. You have a little bit of apprehension. I pulled up, rolled my window down. They did the test in under ten seconds, and then I pulled out. There was a tiny bit of discomfort, but it didn’t hurt and they were wonderful.”

This will not be a one-time thing for the health department. They hope to regroup and try this in other areas as well. 

“We want to hit different areas of the county, and so we’re looking at various areas. We don’t have anything decided yet but we definitely want to continue this effort,” Harlan said.

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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.