Polk Co. opens free COVID-19 testing to all adults

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In this March 17, 2020, file photo, Laurie Kuypers, a registered nurse, reaches into a car to take a nasopharyngeal swab from a patient at a drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing station for University of Washington Medicine patients in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

POLK COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Free COVID-19 testing will be available to adults in Polk County.

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 drive-thru testing is each Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. by appointment.

Appointments can be arranged by calling (828) 722-5086.

As of Monday, there were 35 positive cases of COVID-19 in Polk County, health officials say.

There have been four deaths and nine people have been released from isolation.

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.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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