Hamilton seeking pop-up coronavirus testing site after results raise concerns

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Stunning aerial view of downtown Hamilton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The City of Hamilton Health Department will ask the state to host a pop-up coronavirus testing site in the city in response to rising cases and test results in the state’s wastewater monitoring program.

Hamilton Health Commissioner Kay Farrar updated the City Council during its Wednesday meeting and said the city’s participation in a state program to test wastewater for coronavirus showed a 10-times increase in viral load this week. Samples are taken from the wastewater to identify areas of concern, even if individual resident test results are not available.

“It’s not a perfect science, but it definitely tells us we’re trending in the wrong direction,” Farrar said.

Farrar said the pop-up testing sites can happen within a week or two from the request time.

The state hosts pop-up testing sites to provide an option without a doctor’s order or symptoms that residents can use in a drive-thru format. They are generally held in areas seeing coronavirus concerns, including this week in Youngstown, Portsmouth, Columbus, Hillsboro and Cincinnati (on Sunday at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Information on the pop-up testing sites is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Hamilton has recorded 1,218 coronavirus cases and 25 deaths as of Wednesday’s data report (out of 132 deaths in Butler County). There have been eight deaths since Oct. 9.

“It has definitely ramped up,” Farrar said.

Farrar requested that residents wear a mask, social distance, wash hands and avoid crowds and enclosed spaces. She also stressed that a person’s “safe” circle should only include people who live in the same residence.

Butler County remained at red Level 3 in the state’s coronavirus advisory system for the ninth straight week on Thursday, the same day the state reported a record 3,590 single-day cases. That broke the previous record of 2,858 set last Saturday.

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