‘It’s an unprecedented time’: Coronavirus testing sites coming to Clark County, health director says

Some Clark County residents have been tested for COVID-19 following the county’s first confirmed case, an official from the Clark County Combined Health District said.

Emma Smales, spokesperson for the CCCHD, said some Clark County residents who associated with the positive patient are being tested, but she could not say how many.

Currently, Clark County has one testing site for coronavirus, which is located in the emergency department of Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Medical Center, CCCHD director Charles Patterson said Wednesday.

Patterson said the district is doing “high planning” to get ready for “some additional ways people can get tested in Clark County.”

“We are doing some extensive planning on that to see how we can provide more places for people to go safely to get specimens collected when their physicians want that to happen,” Patterson said.

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Patterson said there will be announcements about additional testing sites “later this week.”

“Understand that this is a trying time and its definitely an unprecedented time in our history,” Patterson said.

Clark County’s first positive case of coronavirus was announced on Wednesday during a joint press conference between Patterson and Miami County Public Health Commissioner Dennis Propes.

The patient is a Bethel Twp. veteran in his 70s, who was a patient at the Koester Pavilion, a skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation facility in Troy. He is one of two patients from the facility to test positive, the other is a woman in her 60s, Patterson said.

The Bethel Twp. man was admitted to the Dayton VA Medical Center last week, after leaving Koester Pavilion, and “placed into contact isolation for an unrelated medical condition shortly before he began exhibiting any symptoms related to COVID-19,” VA officials said on Wednesday.

VA staff who might have been in close contact with the patient are being reviewed by infection control experts and will be contacted to review the risks and next step, the VA added.

Smales said even though the Bethel Twp. man was a patient at Koester Pavilion in Miami County, and then sought treatment at the Dayton VA, which is located in Montgomery County, he is still considered Clark County’s first case.

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“The positive case is a resident of Clark County, not a resident of (Koester Pavilion Assisted Living Facility). The facility has both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation services,” Smales said.

Patterson said it appears all of the health workers involved with the two positive cases were wearing the correct protective gear and will not have to be quarantined. However, a total of 17 other residents, staff and visitors at Koester Pavilion have been tested.

“Koester Pavilion did absolutely everything they were supposed to do following those order. It’s just a community spread incident. We can’t give you any details when and where it started because we don’t have enough information yet,” Propes said.

While coronavirus news has continued to rapidly change, Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said on Wednesday that one thing remains constant: It is crucial for the community that those with symptoms need to stay home to stop the exponential spread.

“Stay home. That also includes household members who may not be sick but have been exposed to you,” Cooper said.

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