Ohio National Guard administers free COVID-19 test

Kole Vivian, Marietta College head women’s basketball coach, gets checked in for coronavirus testing Wednesday by Jensia Steele, college IT media services technician. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

Nearly 200 local residents were administered a free coronavirus test Wednesday in Marietta.

Administered by the Ohio National Guard, this was the second public drive-thru and walk-up testing held at the corner of Third and Butler streets.

Tom Perry, Marietta College’s vice president for strategic communication, said the testing site was busy all day, with 199 people getting tested.

“There were way more community members than college (staff or students),” he said. “Cars were lined up all the way down the alley for the first hour.”

He said around 140 people were tested during the last public event.

“This was the last one scheduled as of right now,” he added.

The tests taken Wednesday were logged into a Mako lab system through tablets held by college staff. The swabs collected are then mailed to a laboratory in North Carolina.

Community members receive their test results in about 48 hours through text or by logging into the Mako website.

Kenny Cline, college environmental health and safety officer, directed people preparing to be tested.

“There were about 15 cars lined up at the start of this,” he said. “There’s constantly been three or four cars in line.”

Although the guard has been administering weekly tests for the college’s students and staff to voluntarily get tested, Cline said he hasn’t been tested.

“If I start showing symptoms, I’ll get tested,” he said.

As of Wednesday, the college reported 14 active cases with 43 in quarantine.

Perry explained after the last public testing that quarantining students is part of state guidelines to mitigate spread of the virus. Friend groups, through contact tracing, were noted as close contacts in the most recent spikes.

Two of the college’s staff went through the line early Wednesday.

Raven Cromwell, assistant professor of education, said this wasn’t her first time getting tested.

“I’ve been tested probably four times,” she explained. “I’m just making sure I’m healthy when I go out into the community and schools.”

Kole Vivian, head women’s basketball coach, wanted to get tested for peace of mind.

“Just because it’s good to know,” he explained. “If you are a leader, you should get tested.”


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