Coronavirus: Health district, Springfield offering three free testing clinics

A majority of tests given at the free testing clinics in Springfield will use a nasal swab for the COVID-19 test. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
A majority of tests given at the free testing clinics in Springfield will use a nasal swab for the COVID-19 test. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

The Clark County Combined Health District will host three free coronavirus testing clinics over the next three Wednesdays.

The first clinic will be held on Wednesday from noon until 6 p.m. at Hayward Middle School at 1700 Clifton Ave. in Springfield. Testing will be available to anyone who wants one — free of charge — regardless of insurance, appointment or doctor’s note, Charles Patterson, CCCHD Commissioner said.

“We want there to be no barrier to people getting a test including race, gender, ethnicity, insurance coverage, income, anything,” Patterson said.

When a resident arrives at a clinic, they will not drive through the testing site. Instead, they will park their car and stand in line on foot. They will then walk through the line and fill out a registration form with their contact information,” Patterson said.

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“Then they will move to the testing tent where they will get tests and then they will exit and move back to the parking lot,” Patterson said. “A majority of the tests that will be given will be the nasal swab through your nose. Now if there are children that come, we don’t do that one on children. They will get a different style of test.”

The clinics are being put on with the help of the City of Springfield. Patterson said the district and city recently signed a contract agreeing to split the cost of the clinics up to $250,000, but the district does not expect costs to “reach anyway near that.”

“Our main goal is to make these tests available to those who are high risk and take down the barriers that might cause people not to get a test,” Patterson said. “We are trying to move 1,000 tests through each of these clinics each week.”

Valerie Lough, spokesperson for the City of Springfield, said the city is merely playing a “supportive role” with the clinics.

“The CCCHD is the entity driving this project,” Lough said.

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Patterson said two factors played into the district’s decision to put on the clinics. The first was the district was told by the Ohio Department of Health that Clark County was a low priority county on the list of counties requesting pop-up National Guard testing.

“We requested the state’s help and we are further down the list of sites than we would like to be,” Patterson said. “So we made this happen.”

The second factor was that local testing sites in Clark County are “at their capacity,” Patterson said.

“Since the governor lifted the requirements so that everyone can get a test, most of the testing sites are at capacity and we needed to expand it,” Patterson said. “Especially after (the Dole Fresh Vegetables) outbreak, where we expect there to be some community spread.”

The Ohio Department of Health reported 57,956 total cases of the coronavirus and 2,927 deaths attributed to the virus in Ohio as of Monday afternoon. The state saw an increase of 805 cases between Sunday and Monday afternoon — which is just slightly over the 21-day average of 780.

Daily hospitalization and daily ICU admissions also saw an increase, with 77 hospitalizations reported compared to the average of 62 and 19 ICU admissions reported compared to the average 15.

Clark County had 766 cases, eight deaths and one probable death, of the coronavirus as of Monday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Free COVID-19 community testing clinics

July 8, Noon until 6 p.m. at Hayward Middle School located at 1700 Clifton Ave., Springfield

July 15, Noon until 6 p.m. at Perrin Woods Elementary School located at 431 W. John St., Springfield.

July 22, Noon until 6 p.m. at La Condesa Grocery #1 located at 440 S. Burnett Rd. (Burnett Plaza Shopping Center), Springfield.

Offered by Clark County Combined Health District and City of Springfield