COVID-19 test result delays reduced as pop-up site returns to Dayton

Jennifer Lowe, a member of the Ohio National Guard out of Mansfield Ohio, performs COVID-19 test at a Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing spot at Kettering Fields in Dayton Tuesday August 18, 2020.
Caption
Jennifer Lowe, a member of the Ohio National Guard out of Mansfield Ohio, performs COVID-19 test at a Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing spot at Kettering Fields in Dayton Tuesday August 18, 2020.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Results from coronavirus pop-up testing sites in the Dayton area are expected in a more timely manner and results accessible online to patients, following a switch to a new laboratory, health officials said.

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Public Health and the Ohio National Guard held a test collection drive-thru at Kettering Park in Dayton on Tuesday afternoon as part of the continued series of pop-up sites around Ohio.

Dan Suffoletto, spokesman for Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, said results from the testing site should turn around no longer than 72 hours.

“If someone tests positive, we will also be additionally contacting them, provide them with information about isolation and begin the contact tracing process,” Suffoletto said.

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Labs have been slammed with demand for analyzing coronavirus tests as case counts rise and as private and public organizations seek to test and detect the virus, which can infect people who don’t feel sick and then unknowingly spread to someone who gets severely ill.

Public Health cancelled a testing site planned for Aug. 3 so it could reassess testing procedures and make sure results were given out in a timely manner and improve the testing notification process. At a June pop-up by Ohio Department of Health and Five Rivers Health Centers, the testing partners asked for patience afterwards as backlogged labs took longer on results than expected.

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At the Tuesday testing site in Dayton, people were given cards with information on how to directly check their results through an online patient portal. Suffoletto said people who came out for testing could also get a facemask if needed and public health also gave out information from the Community Overdose Action Team.

Testing serves several purposes in responding to the pandemic. It can provide a diagnosis for a person who might need care. It helps identify who is infectious so people can isolate before spreading the virus any further and also so their close contacts can be aware they were exposed and thus could also be sick. It also adds to the data available on how and where the novel coronavirus is spreading, which lets public health officials adapt their strategy as needed.

Suffoletto said their goal is to prevent people who might have no symptoms from spreading the virus to others.

“If you’re living in a situation with someone who’s at high risk, that that’s even more important for you to get tested regularly,” he said.

Testing sites are updated on coronavirus.ohio.gov.