Marietta holds drive-thru virus test site today

Michael Smith

The state health department will hold a COVID-19 test site in Marietta today and patients from across southern Oklahoma, not just Love County, are expected to use the free resource.

“There have been people from outside of the county at all of our drive-thru testing sites,” said Oklahoma State Department of Health spokesperson Julie Williamson. She said any confirmed positives from drive-thru test sites are tallied in a patient’s home county which may not be the county where the test site is located.

“If the positive result is known before 7 a.m., it is supposed to show up on the 11 a.m. update,” Williamson said by phone on Wednesday. Confirmed positives are released no more than a day after the patient has been notified.

The Thursday test site will be similar to others held in Carter, Stephens, Garvin and Pontotoc counties in recent weeks. Testing will be available for Oklahoma residents 16 years or older who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a positive case, according to a health department statement.

Minors will need consent from a parent or guardian before being tested. No walk-ups or bicycles will be allowed, and pets will not be allowed in vehicles at the testing site.

Once health officials are notified of a positive result, the county health department in the patient’s home county begins a contact investigation. According to Williamson, people who were around a confirmed positive patient are identified and contacted.

People who might be at risk are often notified within two days of the investigation’s launch.

Thursday’s drive-thru test site will be at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 200 N. 8th St. in Marietta from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. More information is available by calling (580) 276-2531.

The Oklahoma Department of Health is asking that anyone concerned about possible exposure or symptoms call the Coronavirus Call Center at (877) 215-8336 or 2-1-1. If symptoms become severe or do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, people should contact their doctor by phone for further instructions.