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Coronavirus in West Virginia: Free drive-thru testing focuses on Charleston’s West Side

Coronavirus in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – As cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Kanawha County, free drive-thru testing is becoming more available.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department brought testing to Charleston’s West Side – which is one of the highest minority populated areas in the county.

“We believe we are an extremely vulnerable population. We believe if this virus steps down here it could be really devastating to this community.” said Rev. Matthew Watts, senior pastor at Grace Bible Church.

Traffic was constant all afternoon and two lanes of traffic were used to speed up the process. 55 people signed up, but about 70 people were actually tested.

“This was something we wanted to say, ‘let’s take a look at our community, what our needs are, and how we can reach out the best’ and this is a good starting point,” said Dr. Sherri Young, health officer at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

The goal for these drive-thru testing events is to help stop the spread of the virus and to make testing more available.

“There may be individuals that have difficulty coming to the health department. So, we wanted to come to them. That was today’s role. Coming to the west side community and bringing our drive-thru to them.” said Monica Mason with the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority.

The next free drive-thru testing event will be held at Bible Center Church in Charleston on Friday, May 1, 2020. Tests are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment only. To make an appointment, call the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department at (304) 348-8080.

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