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Free COVID-19 testing at fairgrounds on Wednesday

September 8th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

The Allegany County Health Department will offer free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Allegany County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, September 9 from 1 PM to 6 PM.  Participants are asked to bring a driver’s license or other ID that shows their name, address, and date of birth.  Participants do not need an appointment, a doctor’s order, or an insurance card. 

The drive-thru model is an easy way for individuals to get a COVID-19 test with minimal contact.  When a vehicle drives in, all patients will remain in the vehicle and a nurse will swab each patient’s throat.  All patients must be in a vehicle.  Patients cannot walk into the clinic site. 

Nurses will use throat swabs which some patients find more comfortable than nasopharyngeal swabs.  After the nurse collects the specimen, it will be sent to the Maryland Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore.  A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test will be used to detect COVID-19 infection.  Antibody testing will not be offered at the drive-thru testing events. 

Results of the COVID-19 test can be expected in 2-5 days.  Patients who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a phone call from the Health Department.  Patients who test negative will not be contacted, but can call the Health Department to confirm their negative result. 

The drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic will be held rain or shine.  Testing will be conducted under the Ag Expo Pavilion at the Allegany County Fairgrounds which is sheltered from the rain. 

For more information, please call the Allegany County Health Department at 301-759-5000.