JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Several counties throughout Missouri have already participated in community sampling efforts in order for public health officials to learn more about the prevalence of COVID-19 transmission. Testing goals for events thus far have been exceeded, and the State of Missouri is continuing these efforts through June. Beginning on June 8, the goal is to test 10,900 people over a 2-week period at events being held in 21 counties.
Community sampling gives the state a better sense of COVID-19 prevalence in a given area, which will help guide its response and ease uncertainty for Missourians. If prevalence is low, this will help reassure citizens that it is safe to begin re-engaging in the community and returning to somewhat normal operations. If prevalence is higher, quick and proactive steps will be taken to keep the virus from spreading further in the community.
Any Missouri residents who wish to be tested with a nasal swab to see if they have an active COVID-19 infection can do so at the specified sites in each region at no cost to the individual. Missouri residency is the only requirement; individuals do not have to live in the county in which they are tested, and they do not have to be experiencing symptoms.
Location selection for this period of community sampling is based on inadequate testing according to the number of confirmed cases and the number of total tests conducted prior to these events. Counties hosting upcoming community testing events are Scott, Platte, Stoddard, Carter, Ripley, Cass, Franklin, Johnson, Pettis, Lafayette, Ray, Warren, Carroll, Chariton, Lincoln, Lewis, Moniteau, Pike, Scotland, Montgomery and Osage.
Appointments can now be made online for events June 8-12 on the DHSS registration site. Events scheduled from June 13-20 will continue to be added over the next few days. Those without access to online registration can call the Missouri COVID-19 hotline for registration assistance at 877-435-8411.
The community sampling goal for May 25-June 7 was to have 9,600 people tested at events in 11 counties. As of June 3, 9,483 people had already been tested. 107 of these patients tested positive.
CARES Act funding will be used for community sampling. Some counties have also elected to provide community sampling using CARES Act funding received by their county.
The community-based testing will be operated by the Department of Health and Senior Services and Missouri National Guard in coordination with the hosting local public health agencies.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services