The Malheur County COVID-19 Taskforce is offering COVID-19 testing to individuals who meet specific criteria at the Malheur County Fairgrounds (795 NW 9th St, Ontario) next Wednesday, April 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Taskforce is led by Lieutenant Rich Harriman and supported by staff from the Health Department, Environmental Health, Ambulance Service District, Planning, Surveying and several community agencies. The Taskforce intends to offer more testing sites in the future, until the Oregon Office of Emergency Management allotment of tests has been exhausted.
“There is significant value in being able to increase testing capacity in Malheur County through this testing site,” said Angie Gerrard, Malheur County RN and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “Access to enough testing in our area is essential to identifying cases for isolation and making sure they get the care they need. Knowing who tests positive will help us in our fight to stop the spread of this virus.”
Testing at the April 29th Testing Site is only for individuals who live or work in Malheur County. A person qualifies for testing if they have two symptoms (fever within last three days, cough, shortness of breath) OR one symptom plus one of the risk factors below:
- Age 60 or older
- BMI 40 or above
- Live or work in a nursing home or long-term care facility, jail, prison, group home or other congregate care setting
- Frontline healthcare provider or first responder
- Routinely take cortisone, prednisone or other steroids, anti-cancer drugs, or had radiation treatments
- Have a condition that weakens your immune system (cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplant, HIV with low CD4 count or not treated)
- Lung disease (moderate to severe asthma, COPD, emphysema, pulmonary or cystic fibrosis)
- Cardiovascular disease (heart failure, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension)
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
- Chronic liver disease
- Had close contact with a lab-confirmed Covid-19 case within 14 days of when your symptoms started
This testing option is not meant to replace or eliminate other testing offered by local healthcare providers. The goal is to supplement those options in order to ease some of the pressure on the existing system and make the process more accessible to the public. People still should contact their medical provider for guidance and assessment if they have symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. For medical emergencies, they should call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you may have COVID-19.
Upon arrival at the Malheur County Fairgrounds testing site, individuals will be required to remain in their vehicles at all times. Each driver should drive cautiously and follow traffic directions. Testing is limited to four individuals per vehicle, and those individuals must be seated at a seat with a working window. You will be required to complete a screening form, which includes where you live and work, high risk factors, and a release of liability. All forms and service available in English and Spanish.
Personnel in full medical protective gear will check the individual’s temperature with a no-touch thermometer and use a swab to obtain the necessary sample from the individual’s nose. If you do not meet the testing criteria, you will be diverted back to your residence to monitor symptoms and contact your local healthcare provider.
Additional information on COVID-19 and the testing site is available by calling the Malheur County Health Department at 541-889-7279. Due to patient privacy concerns, members of the media will not be allowed to enter the testing site. Thank you for sharing this important information and helping us raise the availability of testing.
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