Fewer people getting tested for COVID-19 at free events in Kanawha County

Local News

INSTITUTE, WV (WOWK) With Kanawha County going into the red this week the Kanawha Charleston Health Department will be offering testing for 7 days in a row. Friday they set up for a previously scheduled drive through testing event at West Virginia State University.

As of noon Friday about 300 people had been through to be tested. Chief Health Officer in Kanawha County Dr. Sherri Young said overall fewer people are getting tested at the free events.

“We have enough for everybody. We are very fortunate to have that resource,” Young said, adding that right now the free testing events are more important than ever. “We are really hitting a surge and with that surge unfortunately we are going to see more people in the hospital. We are going to see more people who are acutely ill. We are going to see more community spread. We are199 days in and I understand that people are tired of COVID.”

She said as the pandemic has continued, fewer people are coming to the testing events.

“There’s been very few in the beginning and then we got very large and had as many as 850 and we created some traffic problems,” Young said. “But really what we are seeing is less people wanting to be tested.”

Young said there is a misconception that less testing will lead to less positive cases.

“There are people who may believe that if we continue to test we are going to see our numbers go higher. It actually doesn’t work that way. The numbers that we are seeing are not associated with these big testing events that we are doing,” she explained.

The free testing event Friday was the 52nd one hosted by the Kanawha Charleston Health Department since mid March. Young said she is hoping more people will make use of the opportunity in the weeks ahead.

“It is unfortunate because it is a great gift that we have that we can give to people to make sure that everybody is healthy,” she said.

The next free COVID-19 testing opportunity in Kanawha County is Saturday at WVSU from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional testing will also be available in the days ahead.

1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20 at Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, 108 Lee Street East, Charleston
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21 at Nitro High School, 1300 Park Ave, Nitro, WV (free flu vaccines available)
Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 at More Excellent Life Way Church, 504 Virginia Street W (Five Corners) (free flu vaccines available)

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