A collaborative group of Webster County's healthcare providers has announced that they will be offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) at no cost to county residents on Monday at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

To be eligible for the testing, residency in Webster County is required. For this testing, presence of symptoms is not required, and a doctor’s order is not needed.

Residents wishing to be tested should bring healthcare insurance information to the event. If a resident is not covered by insurance, or if insurance only covers part of the cost of the testing, there will be no cost to the person being tested. Members of the Board of Directors of the Webster County Health Unit have appropriated funding from their budget to cover these costs.

Community sampling, like that being performed in Webster County, gives the Health Unit a better sense of COVID-19 prevalence in a given area, which will help guide its response and ease uncertainty for Missourians. If prevalence is low, this will help reassure citizens that it is safe to begin re-engaging in the community and returning to somewhat normal operations. If prevalence is higher, quick and proactive steps will be taken to keep the virus from spreading further in the community.

There will be two options for testing at the event, including antibody and PCR testing. PCR testing is conducted by nasal swab and tests for current infection. Antibody testing is prformed by blood sampling and tests for evidence of past infection.

Testing will be performed on Monday at the Webster County Fairgrounds, 614 N. Marshall St., Marshfield. Testing is done by appointment only. A time slot can be scheduled by calling 859-2400. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Collaborative partners in the Webster County Mobile Testing Unit are CoxHealth/Cox EMS, Jordan Valley Community Health Center — Marshfield, Marshfield Fire Department, Mercy, OCH Wellpointe Family Medical Clinic and the Webster County Health Unit.

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