Coronavirus: Free pop-up testing to be held in Moorefield Twp. due to school outbreak, rising cases

People wait in line at the Clark County Combined Health District's free COVID-19 testing clinic at Perrin Woods Elementary School in Springfield in July. A similar testing event is scheduled for Kenton Ridge High School on Friday aimed at testing people associated with Northeastern Local School District as well as the broader Moorefield Twp. community. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

The Ohio Department of Health, Clark County Combined Health District and Northeastern Local School District will host a free pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic on Friday due to an increase in cases in Moorefield Twp.

The clinic will be from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Kenton Ridge High School located at 4444 Middle Urbana Rd. in Springfield. The event will be drive-thru, free and open to the public, CCCHD Commissioner Charles Patterson said, and those interested in attending can pre-register at the health district’s website (ccchd.com).

Patterson said one of the reasons the health district reached out to the state for help with testing is because of an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at Kenton Ridge High School, which has spread into Northridge Middle and Elementary School.

According to Northeastern’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of Friday, the district reported 23 total positive cases of the virus and 203 total current quarantined cases.

Northridge had five confirmed cases, three probable cases and 42 current quarantined cases. Kenton Ridge had 16 confirmed cases, six probable and 146 current quarantined cases. It’s unclear which of those cases are students and which are staff members.

ExploreLast week: Nearly 180 affected by COVID-19 outbreak at Clark County high school, health commissioner says

“We want to try to get the situation that is happening out there under control and one of the best ways to do that is to find out who is positive and make sure that we isolate them and that they are getting better before they go back to class, or work, or back into the community,” Patterson said.

On Oct. 7, Northeastern moved Kenton Ridge to students to remote learning following the outbreak. Virtual learning is scheduled to run through Friday, Oct. 16. Northridge Middle and Elementary School made the switch on Monday and will continue with virtual learning until Friday, Oct. 23.

However, both those back-to-the-classroom dates could change depending on case numbers and recommendations from the health district, Patterson said.

Amber Scurlock has two children in the Northeastern district, one attends Northridge Elementary and the other attends Northeastern High School. Scurlock said while her family has no plans to attend she thinks the pop-up clinic is a “great option for those in the community that may need it.”

“I feel that the district is doing their best to make sure all is taken care of according to state recommendations,” Scurlock said.

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Northeastern Local School District multiple times for comment on the testing event and the status of the outbreak and did not receive a response.

ExploreFirst report: Kenton Ridge High School moves to virtual, over 120 contacts quaranting due to outbreak

In addition to the outbreak at the two schools, Patterson said the other reason the health district requested testing from the state is because of an increase in cases in the broader Moorefield Twp. community.

“Moorefield Twp. cases are continuing to rise over the past couple of weeks and the last couple of months and we are trying to get that situation under control,” Patterson said.

According to data from the CCCHD, as of Friday, Moorefield Twp. had 191 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, making up 9.2% of all cases in Clark County.

That’s the second-highest case percentage location in the county, behind only the city of Springfield which had 1,156 total confirmed cases and 55.6% of all cases in the county as of Friday.

Patterson said the health district hopes that by holding the pop-up testing event at Kenton Ridge, it will draw more Moorefield Twp. residents.

“Of course we won’t turn anyone away, anyone from our community is welcome to go up and get that test. But the primary focus is for Moorefield Twp," Patterson said.

Another free pop-up testing event will also take place this weekend, Patterson said, at North Hampton Community Church located at 110 Community Dr. in Springfield. The drive-thru event will take place from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and will be hosted by Nurse’s Heart, a medical transportation and paramedics association based out of Columbus.

Clark County had 2,197 cases, 56 deaths and four probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Wednesday afternoon, according to ODH.

Ohio beat its daily record of coronavirus cases for the second time in a week, reporting 2,039 cases on Wednesday — that’s the first time since the pandemic began in March that the state has reported more than 2,000 cases in 24 hours.

On Friday, Ohio beat the record set in July with 1,840 cases.

The state reported 173,665 total cases and 5,033 total deaths of the coronavirus as of Wednesday, according to ODH.

Upcoming free COVID-19 pop-up testing events:

1 - 5 p.m. Friday

Kenton Ridge High School

4444 Middle Urbana Rd. in Springfield

9 a.m.- 6 p.m., Saturday

North Hampton Community Church

110 Community Dr. in Springfield

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