Residents of Schuyler County, Illinois, had access to community-wide drive-thru COVID-19 testing for the first time since the start of the pandemic on Saturday and Sunday.
Local health officials said it’s a huge help for rural areas when it comes to tracking and containing the spread of the virus.
Rushville resident Bob Greathouse said it’s tough getting access to COVID-19 testing in rural areas.
He said usually people have to go through their primary care physician, which for some could mean traveling dozens of miles.
“To have something local like this, easy to get to and I drove up and was the only person here, which was wonderful,” Greathouse said.
McDonough and Schuyler County emergency response coordinator Ben Thompson said it’s important for small communities to have easy access to COVID-19 testing.
“We’ve seen multiple people with COVID-19 have no symptoms at all so anyone can be a carrier of it,” Thompson said.
He said even with a low turnout of only 100 people over the two days testing was available, it allowed city health officials to monitor spread in asymptomatic carriers.
“We will follow up with anyone that is positive,” Thompson said. “We will follow up with them to get information and do contact tracing with that positive case.”
Greathouse said he has a number of comorbidities so having access to testing this weekend was very beneficial for him.
“I’m glad they had it here and its free,” he said.
Residents said they want to see more COVID-19 testing available to them in the future.
Thompson said people tested and presenting symptoms need to quarantine until their results come back.
He said they can expect to get those results in the next four to seven days.