Free drive-through COVID-19 testing comes to Comanche County

Free drive-through COVID-19 testing comes to Comanche County

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Comanche County Health Department partnered with the state and private medical services to bring free self-administered COVID-19 testing to Lawton on Nov. 29 and 30.

These are the first self-administered COVID-19 tests in Comanche County. Health care professionals provide the patient with a self swabbing kit. The tester opens the wrapper on the swab, places the swab midway in one nostril, rotates twice and holds it inside for 15 seconds and repeats the process in the other nostril.

Local emergency responder for the Comanche County Health Department Rebecca Villa-Wimsett said it’s simple.

“You drive up and we give you instructions on how to administer the swab in each nostril and then you’re on your way,” Villa-Wimsett said.

Villa-Wimsett said this accessible testing made possible by the government can help to significantly decrease the state’s numbers.

“We want to identify those individuals who are cases who are exhibiting symptoms so that we can isolate them and then their contacts,” Villa-Wimsett said. “Those would be people that they expose. We put them in quarantine so that we can stop the spread and the contagious part of the disease.”

Josh Middleton, a qualified combat medic for the National Guard, served as the site lead today for Rhino Medical Services staff to help demonstrate to people who drove up how to self-administer the test.

He said with this contactless, quick method available, there’s no reason individuals shouldn’t get tested if they suspect they may have COVID.

“A lot of people don’t stay home,” Middleton said. “They’ll be worried to go to the doctor. They just won’t go out and still mingle with friends and be like ‘it’s just a cough or seasonal allergies. Right now, we really can’t take that risk, so it’s very important to go out and get tested to know for sure if you’re exposing your family or your co-workers to the virus.”

He said it was a busy day for the health care professionals there. By 2 p.m., about 150 people had already come through for testing.

He’ll continue to travel across the state next month helping Oklahomans self-administer tests.

You can sign up for your free drive-through COVID-19 test at www.DoINeedACOVID19Test.com.

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