Several opportunities for free COVID-19 testing will be available in the upcoming week:
• On Friday and Saturday, June 26-27, at McDonald County High School, 100 Mustang Drive in Anderson. No times were given for the testing window.
• From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 26-27, at Rocketdyne Church of Christ, 1111 Rocketdyne Road in Neosho.
• From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 29-30, in Carthage’s Memorial Hall, 407 S. Garrison.
Testing at these sites is available for free only to Missouri residents. Residents do not have to be showing symptoms or need a referral to be tested. An appointment will be required by registering at health.mo.gov/communitytest or by calling the Missouri COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411.
We urge everyone to consider making an appointment to get tested — especially now, as positive cases of COVID-19 are spiking in Jasper, Newton and McDonald counties.
That these sites are open to testing people who aren’t showing symptoms of COVID-19 is particularly welcome. Large-scale testing efforts, including tests conducted earlier this spring at a food plant in Missouri’s Buchanan County, have suggested that many people who test positive for the disease — and, therefore, who can spread the virus to others — are asymptomatic.
Of course, there are limitations to the knowledge we’ll gain from testing. A viral test will tell you if you currently are infected. It won’t necessarily tell you whether you’ve previously had it, and it won’t be of help if you contract the disease at some point after your test.
But widespread testing is a good, solid step toward getting the coronavirus pandemic under control. It will help local health officials treat and isolate known COVID-19 cases while also helping them with broader mitigation efforts to limit the virus’s spread.
The more people who are able to be tested, the better idea we will have of the threat of the coronavirus to our community and the better prepared we will be to curb its spread.