A medic from the Ohio National Guard administers a nasal swab test to Melvin Rakestraw of Middletown during a pop-up coronavirus COVID-19 testing center on Wednesday at the Robert “Sonny” Hill Community Center, 800 Lafayette Ave. More than 130 tests were conducted during a four-hour testing period. Results of the testing are expected back in 24-48 hours. ED RICHTER/STAFF
Photo: Richter, Ed (COP-Dayton)
Photo: Richter, Ed (COP-Dayton)

First Butler County pop-up coronavirus testing site serves nearly 200

Jackie Phillips, city health commissioner, called the turnout “excellent” as there was a line of cars waiting as workers were setting up the site about 9 a.m. at the Robert “Sonny” Hill Community Center, 800 Lafayette Ave.

The testing event was a partnership of organizations including the city, Community Building Institute, the Ohio Army and Air Force National Guard, CenterPoint Health, and LabCorp. Phillips said each of the organizations divided the work in which the city and CenterPoint registered and did the health screenings of people seeking the testing, the Guard members doing the nasal swabbing to gather the samples, and LabCorp processing and testing the samples. Health Department workers also provided some education about COVID-19.

MORE: Pop-up site continues increased coronavirus testing in Butler County: Where to get tested

The testing could be done while people sat in their cars.

Stephanie Boik, CenterPoint’s quality and risk director, said she forwarded her work phone to her cell phone and was getting registrations up to 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning and again around 6 a.m. While pre-registration and appointments were available, they still accepted people who did not register in advance and three people walked in to get tested.

Boik said they received 90 pre-registrations for the testing. Tests are expected to be returned in 24 to 48 hours.

Phillips said they had 150 test kits and access to another 100 test kits if needed. The tests were covered by insurance or were done for free by the city.

Some people came in groups in their vehicles. One of those groups included Melvin Rakestraw and Jimmy Rakestraw, who received the tests. Melvin Rakestraw said the nasal swabbing was not as bad as he thought it might be.

Phillips said the city health department might do additional targeted testing at churches or homeless shelters where a cluster might be identified.

As of Wednesday, the Middletown Health Department has reported 140 confirmed COVID-19 cases with one probable case.

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