ENID Okla. — Garfield County Health Department will hold a COVID-19 testing event all day Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
Recently the department has been seeing wait times increase, and officials wanted to concentrate on testing for the virus to stay on top of the numbers.
Maggie Jackson, Oklahoma State Department of Health regional director of community engagement and health planning for District 2, said the department is attempting to plan specific days solely for COVID-19 testing.
Testing has picked up, Jackson said, as Garfield County doubled the amount of testing in June with 441, compared to around 200 in May.
The department is working to catch up on those currently waiting for all Health Department services, so not all COVID-19 days in July have been scheduled.
The COVID test will be a nasal swab, also known as a nasopharyngeal swab. Testing involves a 6-inch long swab, similar to a long Q-tip, inserted into the nasal cavity to the back of the throat.
Those who would like to attend the testing event, must call the Health Department before Tuesday at (580) 233-0650. This event does not require insurance, there is no charge and interpreters are available.
Other services, including Sooner Start, WIC, family planning, STD testing and immunizations, continue at the Health Department but will be paused or minimized during COVID-19 testing days, Jackson said.
Because of the surge in cases and testing, Jackson suggests those with children needing immunizations for school might begin thinking about getting them sooner rather than later as the backlog at the Health Department could worsen.
The Health Department recently received some help in its contact tracing area with workers who can follow up via phone call or text with anyone who has been in contact with someone who tested positive to enact testing and quarantine measures.
The Health Department also is seeking a nurse to help with services.