HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – Earlier today, another drive-through testing site for COVID-19 opened up in the Ohio Valley, this time in the far northern panhandle…It is an image that has become more commonplace not only across the nation but the entire world…tents set up to determine if one may be infected with this terrible virus.
Hancock County Health Department, working with Brooke County Health Department and several other organizations, have set up this site at Tomlinson Run State Park to meet the excess need for COVID-19 testing. This site will be open tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday of this week from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and they will assess from that point if they shall remain open. You can be tested regardless of where you live, and in order to be tested, you must call 304-564-3343 Extension 125, the hotline number is open from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. You will be pre-screened over the phone based on symptoms. You cannot just drive up and receive a test. If you do get tested, you must come by yourself unless you are a parent or guardian of someone who cannot drive.
Jackie Huff, the Administrator of the Hancock County Health Department, told 7News “I think the key factor is everybody should call their physician’s office if they’re sick as always when you are sick you call your doctor and ‘what do I do’ so that’s the message first that we are trying to get out then self-monitor and stay inside…distancing.”
It is an efficient process with three different stations: information reception, monitoring by doctors and nurse practitioners, and then ultimately testing for COVID-19.
Huff added “we’re public health not the health care system, and they’ve been taxed with that challenge we just don’t have a hospital in Hancock County so we thought we owed our residents of the county that step to say ‘hey, here you go’.”
As for seeing something like this before in her history with the department, Huff replied “this is very novel in the fact that you don’t know that you’re ill sometimes so that whole prior quarantine or self-monitoring is new but we at the Health Department worked a lot of disease investigations, but something of this magnitude at this point, no I haven’t seen it.”
As for demand… Huff explained “people are calling- it’s not the magnitude I thought, it might be because I think finally that message of getting home, staying home, shelter-in-place, monitor your symptoms, is working.”
They will only be testing for COVID-19 at this site. Again the hotline number to call is 304-564-3343 Ext. 125