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Monroe County has zero active cases

Pop-up testing event held in Woodsfield

For the first time in nearly four months, Monroe County has no active cases of COVID-19.

The Monroe County Health Department announced the recovery of the last two active cases in a Facebook post Tuesday, July 28.

The recoveries went along with positive news from a pop-up testing held on Thursday, July 23 at the Monroe Family Health Center.

According to the Health Department, the Ohio National Guard completed 55 tests during the popup testing organized by the state to focus on underserved areas of the state. The tests were offered at no cost to Monroe County residents.

The Health Department received the results from the tests Monday, July 27 and each was negative.

Michael Carpenter, C.O.O. of the Ohio Hills Health Service, said he was approached by the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers about holding the pop-up testing event in Monroe County and felt it was an excellent opportunity for the area.

According to Robin Groves, emergency preparedness for the Monroe County Health Department, residents started arriving at the family health center around 8 a.m., two hours before testing began.

“There were not a lot of tests available in this location (Monroe County) at a low cost,” Groves said. “It’s great for the National Guard to hold this pop-up testing for our residents.”

In addition to having 55 negative tests during the pop-up testing, residents were asked to participate in random testing in the past few weeks.

Residents were chosen at random and sent postcards asking them to take a test. Two residents were tested, and both came back negative.

Groves and Monroe County Health Department Public Information Officer Amanda Sefert said the testing helped the department get a grasp of where the county is in terms of COVID-19 cases.

While the county currently has no confirmed cases, the Health Department stresses that continued testing is still important.

“Testing for COVID-19 is critical to helping stop the spread of the virus. It saves lives,” the Health Department said in a Facebook post. “Testing individuals in a community allows us to quickly identify infected individuals, isolate them and investigate and trace the contacts of those infected. This helps to contain and decrease the spread of illness.”

The pop-up testing event is over, but tests are still available through Ohio Hills Health Services.

Carpenter said nasal swab tests, which see if an individual currently has the COVID-19 virus, and antibody tests, which determine if an individual has ever had the virus, are available at Ohio Hills Health Services.

The tests cost between $100 and $150, with most insurances covering the cost of testing.

If someone cannot afford a test, Carpenter said grant funding is available to provide the test at little or no cost.

Currently, Monroe County is at a Level 1 risk level, the lowest of four possible threat levels issued by the state.

Monroe County Health Department officials credit the community for doing its part to get us there.

“Monroe County is currently at a Level 1 in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System due to the tremendous job that our residents have done to contain the virus in our county,” the Health Department said on Facebook. “Residents need to continue social distancing, handwashing/sanitizing and wearing a mask in public buildings and outside if (a) six-foot distance cannot be kept.”