CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A third round of free and open COVID-19 testing begins Friday morning in five West Virginia counties.
The two-day event will take place in Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Kanawha and Mineral counties. The testing, which is open to all residents including those who don’t have coronavirus symptoms, targets minority and vulnerable communities.
The first round of testing events held two weeks ago produced nearly three dozen positive cases in Berkeley and Jefferson counties but none in Mercer County. Testing also took place in Raleigh County. Last weekend testing sites in Monongalia, Kanawha, Cabell and Marion counties resulted 3,065 total tests.
Monongalia County reported the highest number of tests at 1,013 and no positive results. In Cabell County, 640 people were tested and two results were positive.
Kanawha County officials said 837 people were tested and two positive results were reported.
Marion County Health Officer Lloyd White said during two days of testing at Windmill Park in Fairmont they tested 575 people.
“We have two positives, those came back on Saturday,” White said. “From Saturday to now we have no additional positives from the testing.”
Because both positive tests were attributed to community spread, contact tracers are working to notify others. White said contact tracing can be a long process.
“If you can’t make contact with them via phone or email we’ll actually go to the house and pay them a visit,” White said. “And that’s what we did with one of those.”
White said Marion County has a total of 51 cases, evidence that social distancing and other guidelines are working effectively.
“We can do better. We can’t let our guard down,” White said. “If we do this thing could skyrocket in a heatbeat, so continue to do what’s right will get us to where we want to be sooner rather than later.”
According to state DHHR Secretary Crouch Bill Crouch, 56 percent of the 640 people tested in Cabell County were African American. In Marion County, the percentage was 48 percent, 21 percent in Kanawha County and 8 percent of those tested in Monongalia County were African American.
Free #COVID19 testing available to all residents, incl. asymptomatic individuals, in Berkeley, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mineral & Morgan counties on May 29-30. Under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. Site info: https://t.co/3ScUrXEmP6@WVHHOMA @WVNationalGuard pic.twitter.com/0X5MR9UZSh
— WV DHHR (@WV_DHHR) May 28, 2020
Drive-thru testing will take place at the following locations Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Berkeley County: Musselman High School, 126 Excellence Way, Inwood
Jefferson County: Hollywood Casino, 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town
Kanawha County: Shawnee Sports Complex, One Salango Way, Dunbar
Mineral County (Friday, May 29): American Legion Piedmont, 10 Green Street, Piedmont
Mineral County (Saturday, May 30): School Complex, 1123 Harley O. Staggers Senior Drive, Keyser
Morgan County: Warm Springs Middle School, 271 Warm Springs Way, Berkeley Springs
Residents must bring identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
The testing will be conducted by county health departments, the state Bureau of Public Health, the West Virginia National Guard and others.