UPDATED: Free COVID testing mobilizes to Morgantown, location added

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Free COVID-19 testing for vulnerable populations is coming to Mon County Friday and Saturday.

Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. testing will be offered at the Westover Big Lots parking lot and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. testing will be offered at the WVU Coliseum parking lot and the Mountainview Elementary School parking lot.

All locations can be accessed by using the Mountain Line Transit Authority.

Dr. Lee Smith, County Health Officer says the tests are offered on a first come, first served basis and no doctor’s order is required.

“While any resident of Monongalia County is eligible to get the testing, it is geared toward vulnerable populations, including minorities, those with special needs and individuals without primary health care providers,” Dr. Smith said.

Monongalia County Health Department officials will partner with the West Virginia National Guard to conduct the tests.

People tested will be asked to provide name, date of birth and telephone number in order to return testing information. Monongalia County Health Department staff will contact everyone who takes the test.

“People who test positive will be asked about anyone in their family and social circle, which is called ‘contact tracing,’” Dr. Smith said. “This will allow our staff members to find other individuals who also might have been infected with COVID-19.”

Residents coming for a test are asked to wear a mask or face covering. Those conducting the testing will be wearing full personal protective equipment and social distancing will be observed.

Other points for those who are interested in testing include:
• West Virginia National Guard medical staff will be assisting MCHD staff with nasal swabbing for both testing days.
• There will be a registration table where labels will be made for the tube that contains the specimen and the outer bag for submission to the lab.
• To obtain a good specimen for testing, the person performing the test places a small, flexible Qtip-like swab in the nose, which is advanced to the back of the throat and then removed after several seconds. There is slight and temporary discomfort.
• Specimens may take several days to run in the lab and those participating will be contacted with their results. This is why contact information from those taking the test is so important.
• Any questions may be addressed to Monongalia County Health Department at 304-598-5100.
• Frequently asked questions (FAQ) may be found on the health department’s website, monchd.org.
• For those who do have health insurance, there will be no charge or co-pay for anyone. However, MCHD would like to obtain some administration fees from the insurance company to help cover supplies and employee time.