Ohio to add more COVID testing; Springfield, Dayton, Cincy sites included

Cars waiting in line for COVID testing at the old Montgomery County fairgrounds stretched down N. Main Street to the ER entrance of Miami Valley Hospital Monday Dec. 27, 2021.

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Cars waiting in line for COVID testing at the old Montgomery County fairgrounds stretched down N. Main Street to the ER entrance of Miami Valley Hospital Monday Dec. 27, 2021.

The Ohio Department of Health, Ohio National Guard and Ohio Hospital Association will expand COVID-19 testing locations in nine Ohio cities, including Dayton, Springfield and Cincinnati, according to Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.

Some of the locations will be new, the rest expanded from current levels.

The goal is to divert testing traffic from hospital emergency rooms.

The state Monday set another record for COVID-19 hospitalizations with more than 6,100 COVID-19 patients.

ExploreOhio sets record again with more than 6,100 hospitalized COVID patients

“We hope to increase testing to help take the pressure off of the emergency departments who are being overrun by people seeking testing, but not necessarily in an emergent condition requiring that level of medical care,” Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said Monday.

The Clark County drive-thru testing is at 2501 E. High St. by appointment only. Call 937-390-5600.

Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County spokesman Dan Suffoletto said the agency did not have details Monday evening regarding the additional testing resources.

The expanded testing will receive support from National Guard personnel, who drew praise from DeWine.

“As the demand for COVID-19 testing increases, adding to the pressure our hospitals are facing, members of the Ohio National Guard will continue to play a critical role in the state’s response,” said DeWine. “I commend Guard members for their commitment to their fellow Ohioans as they answer the call to serve.”

About 300 members of the Ohio National Guard will provide support at the additional testing sites, which will be operated in partnership with Ohio hospitals and health networks.

Most of the recently activated National Guard members will remain at hospitals to provide direct clinical care and non-clinical support, according to a release. In the last month, DeWine called up 2,300 members of the National Guard to help.

The Ohio National Guard has either been deployed or will soon be deployed to support the following testing locations:

OPEN:

  • Cleveland: Walker Center (Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), 10524 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.
  • Akron: Atrium Testing Site (Summa Health), 1077 Gorge Blvd., Akron.
  • Columbus: (Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center), first floor of the CAS parking garage at 2540 Olentangy River Road, Columbus.

COMING SOON:

  • Canton
  • Zanesville
  • Mansfield
  • Chillicothe
  • Toledo
  • Springfield (expanding capacity at existing testing locations)
  • Cincinnati
  • Dayton (expanding capacity at existing testing locations)

The release said more details about the testing locations will be made available soon.

Officials stressed vaccinations remain the best tool to fight COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Those who have had the shot are encouraged to get the booster, if eligible, wear face masks, wash hands frequently, get tested when needed and stay home if sick

More than 7 million Ohioans have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Ohioans can schedule a vaccination appointment at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohioans who want to learn more about COVID-19 testing, and the safety, efficacy, and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.

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