Polk County opens Covid-19 testing to all adults

Published 1:08 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Any Polk County citizen over the age of 12 years old with or without symptoms can be tested for Covid-19 at the health department’s drive-thru location. The tests are free.

At this time, the drive-though testing is each Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.—by appointment. Appointments can be arranged by calling 828-722-5086.

As of Monday, May 18, there were 35 positive cases of Covid-19 in Polk County. There had been four deaths. And, nine people had been released from isolation.

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County officials anticipate opening more days for testing as the demand increases. So far, the testing has been done once a week for the past several weeks, and the citizens were screened to see if there was a need for testing. Now, to be tested, individuals still need to be screened and scheduled for an appointment, though anyone can be tested regardless of symptoms.

“In order to continue being effective in containing this virus, we need to expand testing to those who are asymptomatic (no symptoms) who may be spreading the virus and isolate them to prevent further spread to the community,” Polk County Health & Wellness Coalition Executive Director Haley Suskauer said. “The only way to identify these hidden infections is to increase testing to those who are not showing symptoms.”
So far, most tests have been processed within 24 hours, however, it could take as long as three days for results to be returned to the person being tested.

For more information, please call 828-722-5086.

Submitted by Steve Wong