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Free COVID-19 testing sites in St. Charles, Jefferson counties open to all Missouri residents

Free COVID-19 testing sites in St. Charles, Jefferson counties open to all Missouri residents

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St. Louis County tests justice center staff for COVID-19

Linda Brown, a corrections officer with St. Louis County, has her nose swabbed to test for COVID-19 on Saturday, May 16, 2020, by St. Louis County Health Department workers Renee Durham, center, and Marnice Weaver outside the John C. Murphy Health Center in Berkeley. (Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com)

ST. CHARLES COUNTY — Missouri residents who want to get tested for COVID-19 can sign up for drive-thru testing in St. Charles and Jefferson counties. Health officials hope the testing sites will provide a clearer picture of coronavirus spread in the community.

The sites, run by the state Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri National Guard, will allow those who register online to get tested from Tuesday through June 2, even without symptoms or exposure to a known case.

The effort is part of Gov. Mike Parson’s goal of testing at least 7,500 people for the virus each day across the state, as testing requirements have been loosened and more supplies are available.

Missouri will operate eight sites over 10 days. Locations in the St. Louis region are:

St. Charles: Testing at the St. Charles County Department of Public Health, 1650 Boone’s Lick Road, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. next Tuesday through Thursday.

Dardenne Prairie: Testing at the St. Charles County Youth Activity Park, 7801 Highway N, will be open Friday and May 30 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

House Springs: Testing at the Faith Community Church, 4824 Scottsdale Road, will be held June 1 and 2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hillsboro: Testing at the Hillsboro Civic Center, 10349 Business 21, is on June 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any Missouri resident, even those who do not live near these sites, is eligible for the free tests.

Similar community sample testing is planned in St. Louis and St. Louis County, but details have not been announced, state health officials said.

Online registration can be completed at health.mo.gov/communitytest or by calling the state hotline at 877-435-8411.

Patients will be given a 15-minute appointment block. At the appointment, they will stay in their vehicles and members of the Missouri National Guard will collect samples by swabbing inside the person’s nose. The sample will be sent to a private Quest Diagnostics lab for processing, and patients should get results within a week, according to the St. Charles County Health Department.

In St. Charles, the county health department said in a statement that about 2,500 tests were expected at the county’s two sites.

For those who cannot leave their home but believe they need to be tested, a county spokesperson suggests calling their primary care provider or calling their county’s health department hotline to get help.

The announcement of the testing program came Friday, as Missouri announced 218 additional cases and 10 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths. The state has reported a total of 11,558 cases and a death toll of 671 since the start of the pandemic.

The seven-day average for daily case totals has ticked up for the last four days in the state, but Parson has said that is a result of the increased testing statewide. The state has tested an average of 6,500 people daily this week, up from about 3,400 the week before.

In the St. Louis area, the daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations over one week continued to fall Friday to 454, down from the April 21 peak in the region at 706.

Illinois state health officials on Friday announced 2,758 new known cases of COVID-19 and 110 additional confirmed deaths. That brings the state’s total to 105,444 cases and 4,715 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

Illinois is on track to begin the next phase of reopening next Friday, which will allow more social gatherings and businesses to restart. Gov. J.B. Pritzker also announced Friday that many of the state’s child care facilities will also be encouraged to reopen next Friday.

Larger child care centers will be limited to 10 children per classroom for the first four weeks, and then to about 30% of their capacity, Pritzker said. Home-based day cares will be allowed to reopen at regular capacity next Friday.

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