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Over 475 people tested at Putnam County testing site Tuesday

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 11:15 PM EDT
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Testing sites were hopping Tuesday throughout the state of West Virginia after Gov. Jim Justice made a public request for more testing during his news conference on Monday. The governor especially encouraged testing in orange and red counties and requested those color counties ramp up testing.

“At my direction, we’re going through the National Guard, DHHR (and) local health officials; we’re going to test in our red and orange counties and effective immediately, we’re going to significantly ramp up the testing in those counties," Justice said.

On Tuesday, the Putnam County Health Department, along with the Teays Valley Fire Department, the National Guard and Lab Corp, held a free testing site at Teays Valley Baptist Church where they tested more than 475 people. One of those people, was Nikki Walker, a junior at Winfield High School:

“I play soccer for the high school at Winfield, and our team decided to get tested because we want to play soccer, we want to have games and play against all these other counties that are allowed to play,” she said. “We thought by all of us getting tested, we could bring the positivity rate down and maybe hopefully play sometime soon.”

Putnam County is currently in the red on the color code map, but Justice says the more testing done, the more likely counties in the red or orange will head back toward the gold, yellow or green.

On Tuesday, WSAZ spoke with Cindy Farley, chairman of the Putnam County Health Board, who said they’re noticing many cases coming from within families. Farley said family members are passing COVID-19 off to one another through the home or at family functions, especially during the Labor Day weekend.

“Families were together, and I think that families who either cohabitate or (are around) outside family members maybe aren’t as careful as they would be with the general public, and so I think that’s part of the increase that we’ve seen here in Putnam County.”

Farley also encouraged testing.

“It’s the only way that we’re going to know either where our pockets are of people having it or how clear we are in this county,” she said.

There will be another testing site at Winfield High School from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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