During the first day for COVID-19 testing, Wyoming County tested three people Wednesday in the new facility in Pineville.
The site is staffed with three people, who are all volunteering from county medical facilities, in addition to a sheriff's deputy.
A referral from a doctor's office in Wyoming County is required before testing will be done.
Also, the person will have already been tested for the flu and strep and had a negative result for both, explained Gena Carter, Health Department nursing supervisor.
There is also additional criteria doctors are using before anyone is referred for the testing, she said.
People being tested never exits their car. They drive up to the designated site, near the Pineville pool, without rolling down the car window. Then, the person holds up the marked testing packet so the deputy can see it. The deputy then provides direction, Carter explained.
Results can take anywhere from one to five days.
The site will be open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. as long as test kits and personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, required for the testing are available.
The county has a very limited number of test kits as well as the required equipment.
“We are going to get through this,” emphasized Fred Cox, Wyoming County Health Department administrator, of the ongoing threat from COVID-19.
“Do what our leaders are telling you to do,” Carter noted.
“Stay home, just like the governor said,” Carter said.
If you have to go out, to the grocery store or pharmacy, stay away from crowds, Cox added.
“Practice the social distancing (six feet) from other people,” he said.
“Wash your hands (with soap and water for 20 seconds),” Cox said.
“The one big thing, keep your hands away from your face – your eyes, your nose, your mouth,” Carter emphasized.
“Those things sound simple, but these are the things we need to do,” she explained.
As of Tuesday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming County.
Pineville was chosen for the testing site because of its central location, Cox said.
Testing can only continue as long as the required equipment is available, Carter said.
“We understand that people are very frightened,” Cox said, “but we can't do something if we don't have the equipment.”
“We are doing everything we can to keep this county safe,” Carter said. “Crystal (Simpson), Fred and I truly love this county.”
The department has been working long hours to address the ongoing health threat and preparing for the testing facility.
The medical community in the county has really stepped up to meet the challenge, Cox noted. Personnel from the clinics in the county and school nurses have volunteered to staff the testing facility, he explained.
While the Health Department has coordinated the testing facility, it only has two nurses on staff.
Volunteers from the medical facilities is the only way to make the testing facility work, Carter said.
Cox also noted that residents should refrain from panic buying and hoarding.
“Think of your neighbor,” Cox emphasized. “Buy only what you need.”