BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - With COVID-19 cases on the up-tick, testing is increasing across South Mississippi.
The Coastal Family Health Center partnered with the Salvation Army Croc Center to offer those tests Thursday morning, free of charge.
As we all know, 2020 has certainly given South Mississippians quite a bit to talk about. With multiple tropical systems missing the state, and one finally hitting the state, Cheyneitha Fountain with the Coastal Family Health Centers said it’s relatively easy to let your guard down where coronavirus is concerned.
“Since we do have so many things going on in the world and around us, we need people to stay focused and continue to social distance," said Fountain. “Wear your mask and try to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs echoes those sentiments, especially as we head into a holiday with the potential of rapid spread.
“We’re going into a very bad fall," said Dobbs. “It’s very important for us right now to be very serious about this. Do everything we can to protect the vulnerable, protect ourselves, and protect our family. Please, take this very seriously.”
Dr. Dobbs and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers discussed a plethora of topics in Monday’s 'COVID and You’ discussion. Both are very confident about upcoming vaccines, stating the first round will likely be administered to health care workers and first responders.
A big concern for both doctors is large indoor gatherings, like basketball games. It’s one of the main concerns along with the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday.
“A test is just a point in time of now," said Dobbs. “A rapid is going to miss you in you’re early infection or asymptomatic. It’s just one thing we should do. Even if you do get a test, please be careful and maintain that space.”
Byers also added “Before your kids come home, they need to really modify their activities. They need to not go into group settings, not go into bars, and do that for a couple of weeks before they come home to limit their exposures before they come back to the house."
As cases increase, and hospitals continue to fill, Fountain said that there are still some who don’t feel bad and may not take the test.
“There are a lot of people who are asymptomatic," said Fountain. “So it is important to protect yourself at all times. Always wear your mask, wash your hands, and social distance, stay your six feet.”
For many that came out for the opportunity to be tested, it was a blessing in disguise.
“Some people don’t even have insurance, you know what I’m saying?" said Christopher McDonald, free COVID-19 test supporter. “So I’m glad everybody is setting up and taking the test. It’s really good. I’m glad. Everybody needs to get tested. Everybody wants to know.”
Those individuals who took the test today at the Croc Center with Coastal Family Health Centers will be notified of their results within 24-48 hours.