June 25, 2020
For More Information, Contact:
Paige Lucas, epidemiologist, Cumberland Plateau Health District, 276-988-5585
CUMBERLAND PLATEAU HEALTH DISTRICT OFFERS FREE DRIVE-THRU COVID-19 TESTING IN TAZEWELL
— Anyone can be infected, and infect others, without ever knowing it. Get tested to know your status! —
(LEBANON, Virginia) — The Cumberland Plateau Health District, in partnership with Tazewell County, will offer free community testing for COVID-19 on Wednesday, July 1 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Tazewell County Fairgrounds, 515 Fairground Road in Tazewell.
Testing is available to all Virginia residents age 18 and older (adolescents accompanied by parent or guardian and able to cooperate with test collection may be tested with parent/guardian consent), regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms. Appointments are not required, but to avoid waiting in line, we encourage individuals to call 276-988-5585 to pre-register so that forms can be completed in advance and to receive an appointment time. You may drive-thru or walk up for testing. If you walk up, please wear a cloth face covering or mask and practice physical distancing. If driving, we encourage those wishing to be tested to sit at a window. For the safety of the testing staff, please keep windows rolled up until told otherwise.
“Testing is important epidemiologically to help us determine the extent of disease in our community,” said Sue Cantrell, M.D., director of the Cumberland Plateau and LENOWISCO Health Districts. “We have already conducted nearly 3,000 tests in the Cumberland Plateau Health District. However, people in our community have begun to travel more both within and outside our area and cases are increasing in our community and communities near us and in areas that residents commonly visit, so we are encouraging people to be tested.
Dr. Cantrell continued “We know that COVID-19 has been widespread across Virginia for months and the risk of transmission is present everywhere in the state and in states bordering our area. Now that testing is more readily available, everyone is encouraged to get tested, not only to assess your own condition, but to help us to better understand the nature and extent of the risk of exposure in our area.”
“As many as four in 10 people can be infected with COVID-19 and never show symptoms, but are contagious. In other cases, people spread the disease before they have symptoms. Anyone can be infected and infecting others, without ever knowing it,” said Dr. Cantrell. “This is all the more reason to get tested so you know your status.”
“There are many reasons people are reluctant to be tested, but the more of us that get tested, the safer we all are,” said Dr. Cantrell. Here is the truth about some common concerns or inaccurate information you may have heard about COVID-19 and testing:
- “What about my privacy? If I get tested, it’ll be spread all over social media.” Test results are private records. VDH does not share them publicly.
- “We don’t have many cases. It’s a hoax, nothing to worry about.” Reputable scientific organizations and medical experts around the world have declared this to be a global pandemic. This is a scientifically proven fact. COVID-19 has been widespread with community transmission throughout Virginia for more than two months. Cases and hospitalizations are in every health district in Virginia. See the data at vdh.virginia.gov.
- “I haven’t gone anywhere to catch COVID-19.” The risk of exposure is everywhere. Personal precautions, including distance, hygiene and face coverings, are the best ways to protect yourself and those around you. There is no safe place. There is only safe behavior.
- “I have to build up my immune system by exposing myself to COVID-19.” This is a novel virus. It’s new, extremely infectious, no one has immunity and we do not yet fully understand how dangerous it can be. There is no vaccine, and no widely available treatment if you do get ill.
- “If I test positive. I can’t afford to stay home for several days. I will get fired.” VDH encourages employers to provide safe work environments, and accommodations for employees who are ill or concerned about the risk of exposure.
“Finally, we continue to stress the importance of taking personal precautions, including traveling only when essential, practicing good hygiene, wearing face coverings when close to people not from your household and physical distancing,” Dr. Cantrell concluded. “That’s how YOU stay well, and how you protect those around you today, your family and friends, and our communities. We are still all in this together!”
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