MOUNT VERNON — All Knox County residents who want to be tested for COVID-19, whether they believe they have symptoms or not, can now get tested in their home county.
Knox Public Health Commissioner Julie Miller described testing options during her weekly health update Wednesday via Facebook. One of them will be happening Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as KPH offers its second drive-thru community testing opportunity, this one to be at Centerburg High School.
And, unlike recent community drive-thru testing offered at the Knox Public Health, testing at CHS will not require an appointment this time, Miller said. It is free and open not only to Knox County residents from Centerburg and beyond, but also to those in nearby areas from out of the county.
About 170 individuals were tested during the Knox County Community Health Center’s drive-thru testing June 3-5.
The other location is at Knox Public Health and its community health center. People can also make appointments for free testing by calling 740-399-8008, or the COVID-19 hotline, 740-399-8014. All testing is open to those ages 18 and older. Those receiving free testing are not required to have health insurance, although the form asks if they do for filing purposes. A simple 1-page form is completed during the drive-thru, which asks for contact and demographic information.
Miller said a few Licking County health officials should be on hand at Centerburg for the testing to observe how KPH conducts theirs. KPH testing involves drivers rolling down their windows so KPH nurses can take nasal swabs and send them off for testing. The swabs are the size of a Q-Tip and the procedure typically takes a matter of seconds.
The increased testing opportunities are part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s initiative to offer testing to all Ohioans who want it, Miller said. As of Wednesday, there were 1,115 specimen collection kits from county residents sent to the state health department for testing, with 1,051 negative results and 33 positive results, she noted. 24 results are pending. A large reason for the increase in recent weeks has been because DeWine has instructed the Ohio National Guard and its medical personnel to conduct testing for the state’s eight developmental centers including 286 staff and residents at Mount Vernon Developmental Center.
Miller also answered several community questions during Wednesday’s update. One asked, with mosquito season already getting started, whether the coronavirus can be transmitted from the blood of one person to another. She said she did not believe it to be “vector” born, meaning transmission through blood. Another question asked about transmission through heating and cooling (HVAC) systems; Miller answered that keeping windows open and changing air filters frequently are good ideas. Those who want more directives involving their air systems can ask KPH.
“I feel most uncomfortable when I go into a place like Walmart and people aren’t wearing masks, (and) aren’t following guidelines,” Miller said.
Miller offered that she thought about attending the protest in Mount Vernon held June 9 related to the death of George Floyd. But she added while many people would be wearing masks, some would not.
“I don’t want to take the chance to be exposed, but that’s me personally,” she said.
Miller also commented that she, like so many Ohioans, would like to see the number of people allowed at a gathering increase soon, a number that has been no more than 10 for the past few months. The state, through the guidance of interim state Health Director Lance Hines, is aware that the restriction of no more than 10 is set to expire July 1, she offered. The state could decide to extend the current restriction or change it.
“I certainly wish they would up the number,” she said, adding that with entertainment venues such as Cedar Point allowed to open this week, it makes sense as long as precautions are followed.
Miller also said the most complaints she receives concern restaurant servers and other food handlers not wearing masks.
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|Results||Age||Gender||Tested in||Details||Current Status|
|3/20||28||Female||Franklin||Works in Franklin County; Not Hospitalized||Recovered|
|3/23||71||Male||Knox||Traveled from Florida; Hospitalized at KCH||Recovered|
|3/29||38||Male||Licking||Works in Franklin County||Recovered|
|3/30||72||Female||Franklin||Hospitalized at KCH||Recovered|
|4/1||90||Male||Florida||Hospitalized in Florida||Deceased|
|4/5||72||Female||Knox||Exposed to a confirmed case in another county||Recovered|
|4/8||28||Male||Knox||Works in Marion County; Not hospitalized||Recovered|
|4/10||77||Female||Knox||No Known Exposure||Recovered|
|4/12||22||Female||Knox||Works in Knox and Franklin County||Recovered|
|4/15||54||Male||Knox||Works in Marion County||Recovered|
|4/19||37||Female||Knox||Works in Richland County||Recovered|
|4/21||39||Male||Knox||Exposure to another confirmed case||Recovered|
|4/22||54||Male||Knox||Works in Knox County||Recovered|
|4/23||45||Male||Knox||Healthcare worker in Marion County||Recovered|
|4/29||79||Female||Knox||Recently returned from Florida||Recovered|
|5/1||58||Male||Franklin||Works in Franklin County||Recovered|
|5/1||32||Male||Knox||Works in Franklin County||Recovered|
|5/3||30||Female||Knox||Works in Licking County||Recovered|
|5/6||56||Female||Knox||Healthcare worker in Mahoning and Knox County||Recovered|
|5/15||56||Female||Franklin||Healthcare worker in Franklin County||Recovered|
|5/17||2||Male||Franklin||Tested at Children’s Hospital; Exposed to positive case||Recovered|
|5/18||53||Male||Knox||Works in Marion County||Recovered|
|5/28||29||Female||Knox||Exposed to a positive case||Recovered|
|5/29||63||Male||Knox||Works in Union County||Home Isolation|
|6/6||65||Female||Knox||Tested at KPH drive-thru||Home Isolation|
|6/7||75||Male||Knox||Tested at KPH drive-thru||Home Isolation|
|6/8||31||Male||Delaware||Healthcare worker in Franklin County||Recovered|
|6/9||72||Male||Richland||Tested prior to medical procedure||Home Isolation|
|6/10||74||Male||Knox||No Known Exposure; Community Spread||Hospitalized|
|6/10||56||Male||Knox||Healthcare worker; No Known Exposure||Home Isolation|
|6/11||31||Male||Knox||Works in Licking County||Home Isolation|
|6/14||44||Female||Knox||Healthcare worker; Works in Ashland County.||Home Isolation|
SOURCE: Knox Public Health June 18, 2020 @ 10:15 a.m.