COVID-19 testing

Free COVID-19 pop-up tests will be offered at four area locations on Saturday, events sponsored by local community groups. (Richland Source file photo)

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MANSFIELD -- For the second time in just over a month, free COVID-19 pop-up tests will be available Saturday in various locations around north central Ohio.

This time, coronavirus tests will be available in four locations -- including Mansfield, Ashland, Loudonville and West Salem. Free wellness kits will be given to the first 200 people at each location, provided by Richland Public Health.

"All are welcome at the test sites," said Brigitte Coles, who helped found WE ACT in 2015, one of the sponsoring organizations. "The test is easy and painless.

"Testing can identify COVID-19 before a person feels unwell or before they spread it to another individual with potentially deadly consequences. Through increased testing, we'll be better able to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Coles said.

"We want to thank Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Stan Jefferson and Director of School Improvement Andrea Moyer for providing Malabar Intermediate School as a testing site."

Coles said pop-up testing is focused on undeserved areas, particularly minority communities; communities that request testing assistance; and communities that have seen a recent increase in infection rate.

A similar testing program was done at the Richland County Fairgrounds was offered on Aug. 22 when 193 people came to be tested.

Those participating are asked to wear a facial covering when coming into the testing areas.

The new round of tests, which will again by done by medical members of the Ohio National Guard, are being arranged by the Richland County Foundation, the State of Ohio, WE ACT, Richland County Children Services, the Ashland County Health Department and other local community organizations.

No appointments are necessary for the nasal swab tests, which will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all four locations.

Testing will be offered at:

-- Malabar Intermediate School, 205 W. Cook Road, Mansfield (drive-thru and walk-up testing available)

-- Ashland County Fairgrounds, 2042 Claremont Ave., Ashland (drive-thru clinic)

-- Loudonville Lions Clubs, 643 Wooster Road, Loudonville (drive-thru clinic)

-- Albion Brethren Church, 246 County Road, West Salem (walk-up clinic)

At each site:

-- anyone 2 or older can get a test, though minors will need signed consent of a parent/guardian.

-- patients need not be experiencing symptoms to request a test.

-- a form of identification will be required.

-- no medical provider order is needed.

-- quantities may be limited.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"

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