Missouri health leaders offer free COVID-19 home tests, expanded testing in Springfield

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 11:16 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 11:11 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Health leaders are expanding the availability of testing for COVID-19 and once again stressing it importance.

The Springfield Greene County Health Department says testing appointments have been booked as cases of the COVID-19 have spiked. It plans to add another testing site starting Monday.

“I think here very recently, I think people are starting to realize that it’s probably not allergies,” says Aaron Schekorra of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. “It’s probably a symptom of COVID-19, and starting to seek that testing again.”

The health department testing costs you nothing. You will likely pay at other testing providers.

However, there is another option. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers free test kits shipped to your home. The kit comes with a nasal swab and all you need to collect your sample and send it off. It provides step-by-step instructions and a postage-paid overnight FedEx envelope. Results of the PCR test take up to two days.

Health leaders say the PCR test is more accurate than the rapid antigen home tests you can buy at stores. They say it is important to be tested, especially if you have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus.

“Testing is just as important today as it was a year ago or a year and a half ago,” said Lisa Cox, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “I think people have somewhat lost sight of that, the importance of testing and the need to test.”

Health officials say too many are simply going without a test until it’s too late to stop the spread.

“And in the meantime, they were going to work, they were seeing friends, maybe they were going to church and exposing many other people to the virus,” says Schekorra. “And so getting tested as soon as you start experiencing symptoms, is going to be the best way to prevent that from happening.”

“We don’t always know who those vulnerable people are going to be,” says Cox. “It’s not just your grandmother, or somebody who’s, you know, fighting a cancer battle. We’re finding more and more people, younger age, people that are healthy, that are really struggling with COVID.”

If you’d like to order one of the free home testing kits, CLICK HERE.

Starting next week, the Springfield Greene County Health Department will offer testing by appointment only at Fire Station No. 8 on South Scenic. To get a testing appointment, call 417-874-1211.

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