SPRINGFIELD, MO. (KY3) – New cases of COVID-19 are slowly increasing again, so the Green County Health Department is distributing free COVID test kits available at local libraries while stocks last.
Each household is assigned four test kits, which come with a guide on what to do if you test positive for COVID-19. The kits are free to the public and will be distributed to 2,500.
While most of the world now considers COVID-19 an inconvenience in the rearview mirror, some people do not have this choice.
Green County has averaged just over 60 new cases a day in the past week, almost twice as many as two weeks ago. About 21 people are hospitalized in Springfield, two of them in critical condition.
“We know that COVID fatigue exists, and we know that the community is tired,” said Whitney Mann, a leading health spokeswoman in Green County. “But we encourage everyone to keep in mind that when there is an increase in cases, efforts are needed throughout the community to reduce the prevalence.
One way to reduce the spread is to get tested if you have symptoms of COVID, and on Tuesday Connie Scott came from Rodgersville to the South Campbell Library Center to take some free tests.
“My daughter has some colleagues who tested positive, and she wanted to be proactive and test when she got home from work today,” Scott said.
Library packs are fast antigen tests that provide results within 15 minutes. If you do not show any symptoms, antigen tests are not always as accurate as PCR tests, where you have to send for test results, which can take days. But the health department feels strong enough about the effectiveness of antigen tests to support its use.
“If the test is positive, I would absolutely trust that positive result,” said Mann. “Then start isolating yourself at home and try to reduce the prevalence in your household and the people around you. If your test is negative and you have symptoms, we recommend that you do it again 48 hours later to make sure, or you can always take a test with us by making an appointment. ”
Community members are encouraged to report positive home test results using the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 home test. This can help the community to provide an accurate picture of the spread of COVID-19. For more information on testing COVID-19, visit COVIDTesting417.com.
While St. Louis has seen a jump that puts it at the CDC’s “high risk” level, Springfield is in the “low risk” category, although the seven-day average has risen.
“Our current seven-day average of 60 is slightly higher than last week (42), which was up from the week before (33),” said Mann. “But right now it’s nothing like what we saw on top of Omicron or Delta. And we just hope that with the slight increase in cases, people are taking prevention strategies to heart and have these kits at their disposal so they can test whether they are becoming symptomatic or will be around a loved one who may be vulnerable. “
As for those who thought we could avoid jumping until the weather was cold again?
“Delta was a jump that happened in the summer, and Omicron was a jump that happened in the winter,” Mann said. “So we saw that he could grow regardless of the season.
And you also never know who will get it. So Connie was grateful that the free tests were available for her daughter.
“It’s important to her because she’s a nurse,” she said. “She had it once, my husband had it twice, and I never had it.
The kits are made possible through a partnership with the Springfield-Green County Library Health Initiative to address community-related health disparities in COVID-19 and beyond. The health department and community partners organize free clinics each week around Greene County. Community members can find a clinic near them at vaccine417.com or call the COVID-19 Call Center at 417-874-1211.
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