The Wayne County Health Department along with The Wooster Division of Fire, The Wooster Police Department, OSU/OARDC, The Wayne Co Sheriff’s Office and The Wayne County Emergency Management Agency plans to conduct COVID-19 testing 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 9, at the OARDC campus, 1680 Madison Ave. Wooster. To enter for testing use the Gossard Drive entrance, off State Route 250 near the Ohio State Highway Patrol post.
The testing will be facilitated by the Ohio National Guard and will be open to the public for free on a first come-first served basis, according to a news release from the Wayne County EMA.
Public COVID-19 testing expired during the second week of December but was recently re-instated by Governor Mike DeWine to continue during the first quarter of 2021. Wayne County Health Commissioner Nick Cascarelli stated, “We appreciate the Governor making the National Guard available to conduct the upcoming pop-up testing event in Wayne County. This event will be helpful in identifying asymptomatic and symptomatic people post-holiday.” He adds that “it is crucial to continue to identify positive cases to isolate them and to appropriately quarantine their close contacts. While vaccine distribution has started, the pandemic is not over yet.”
Wooster Division of Fire, Chief Barry Saley comments that “pop-up testing for COVID-19 is an effective tool for public health officials and first responders to protect our community. By being proactive and conducting mass testing events, we can quickly identify community members that are asymptomatic carriers or have mild symptoms that may not normally be tested. This early identification will allow those citizens to self-isolate and minimize the potential of unknowingly spreading the virus to our families and friends.”
Wayne County Commissioner Sue Smail adds, “I am pleased that Wayne County will be hosting a pop-up testing site. The timing should help catch a lot of the Christmas to New Year’s holiday exposures.”
According to Wayne County Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Villegas, the COVID-19 pop-up testing site is a massive cooperative effort participated by many local public safety agencies. “It was clear that our local public safety agencies are concerned about Coronavirus spread” says Villegas.
“This pop-up testing site is a valuable tool to gauge local spread and find ways to mitigate its effects in our community” he added.
Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson stated that “We are pleased to partner with other public agencies for this event. Public safety goes beyond safe driving tips and asking people to lock their doors at night. I would encourage anyone who is interested to get tested as a way to help curb the spread of this virus.”
Testing will begin at 10 a.m. Traffic signs will be placed around campus entrances to help those coming for COVID-19 testing navigate to the testing entrance on Gossard Dr. Please do not use any other entrance if you want to get in line for the test; it will interrupt planned traffic flow. For more information, please contact the Wayne County Emergency Management Agency at 330-262-9817.