A steady stream of people, lined up in their vehicles, passed through a distribution center at War Memorial Stadium in Liberty on Monday to receive free COVID-19 tests that were being handed out by the staff of Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center.
Hospital CEO Rhonda Campbell said the hospital planned to distribute 6,000 tests in the one-day event. Those who attended also received a free bottle of hand sanitizer and a box of N-95 masks, the latter of which were handed out by Liberty firefighters.
With cases of the Omicron variant on the rise in the United States and over-the-counter COVID tests unavailable in many locations, the free tests and supplies were timely.
“I think this is going to benefit the community a lot. Right now, even with the mandate requiring medical insurance to cover eight COVID tests, the problem is that here is nowhere for people to find the tests right now, and not everyone has insurance,” Campbell said. “Plus the over-the-counter tests are $25, which is a lot of money for some people.”
The tests were provided to the hospital through a grant to its Rural Health Clinic, located in a wing of the hospital.
“We were able to initially get 10,800 tests and we put in a second order last week for more. We are waiting on those to arrive,” Campbell said.
The rapid COVID tests distributed by the hospital allow a person to find out if they have the illness in a matter of minutes.
“This is important because it lets the patients look at their symptoms at home and take care of their health at home. They don’t have to come out and seek testing, or take time out of their day to go test at the hospital or the clinic. Based on the results of the test, they will be able to treat themselves at home unless their symptoms reach a point where they need to seek medical attention,” she said.
The ability to test at home will also help in making decisions about quarantining and isolating at home after exposure to a person with COVID.
If you missed Monday’s test giveaway, another one is being planned for the Dayton area in the coming weeks. Campbell said to keep up with news of the giveaway on Bluebonnet News.
For more information on Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, go online to http://www.libertydaytonrmc.com/