Free COVID-19 testing will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at Access Family Care, 530 S. Maiden Lane in Joplin.

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. Any Missouri residents who wish to be tested with an anterior nasal swab to determine if they have an active COVID-19 infection can do so at no cost.

Register online at health.mo.gov/communitytest.

Those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should seek testing. Those who have had significant contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 should also consider being tested.

Healthy individuals should consider being tested:

• To rule out the possibility that they have COVID-19 and don’t know it.

• To take action early if they do have COVID-19. Early detection allows people to quickly isolate, recuperate, monitor symptoms and seek medical care if needed.

• To spend time with friends and family, especially those at high risk. Those who plan to spend a prolonged period of time with loved ones, especially older adults or those with underlying conditions, should stay away from high-risk activities for 10 days and then get tested.

• To help get the virus under control. Screening healthy people, staying on top of positive cases, identifying new outbreaks quickly and being aware of how the virus spreads among people without symptoms can help curb the spread of the virus.

Everyday prevention measures such as hand-washing, physical distancing and mask-wearing should always be practiced even after testing.

The community testing event is being offered through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri Primary Care Association and MAKO Medical.

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