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A collaborative group of Webster County’s healthcare providers announced they will be offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing at no cost early next week.

This test date, which arrives next Monday morning, is open to anyone, regardless of county of residence. For this testing, presence of symptoms is not required, and a doctor’s order is not needed.

Free testing will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday morning at the Webster County Fairgrounds in Marshfield, located at 614 North Marshall Street, just north of the city square.

Appointments for testing are recommended. An appointment can be scheduled by calling the Jordan Valley Health Center in Marshfield at 417-859-2400. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Residents wishing to be tested should bring healthcare insurance information to the event. If you are not covered by insurance or if insurance only covers part of the cost of the testing, there will be no cost to the person being tested.

Members of the board of directors of the Webster County Health Unit have appropriated funding from their budget to cover these costs.

Community sampling, like that being performed in Webster County, gives the county’s health unit 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, officials said.

There will be two options for testing at the event, including PCR and antibody testing.

PCR testing is conducted by nasal swab and tests for current infection. Antibody testing is performed by blood sampling and tests for evidence of past infection.

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