Free COVID testing could return to Laud. Co. after rise in cases

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - With COVID cases on the rise, testing is becoming more important once again, but how easy is it to get a test and how much does it cost?

It feels like forever ago that we saw those long lines waiting for a COVID-19 test. With the delta variant spreading like a wildfire, testing is becoming more important.

“The first 15 days of the month was 4.5 cases per day on average. In just over the last week we have seen over 150 cases here locally,” Barrett said.

Getting tested for free can be difficult. Health Departments in some Mississippi counties have scheduled free testing days, but Lauderdale County hasn’t had free testing since they started vaccinations. That could change with the recent increases.

“We will get back with the department of health to see if that’s something we need to start setting back up, to have these sites in order to do some testing and see if we need to push that. We will know over the next few days,” Barrett said.

If you want a COVID test in Lauderdale County it will cost you around $100. However, there is a cheaper alternative; for around $20 at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart you can buy an over-the-counter test that’s easy to use.

The BinaxNOW kit by Abbott comes with simple instructions, two swabs, two test cards and a dropper. You lay the test card flat, put in six drops of the solution, swab your nose for 15 seconds, insert the sample and then start a timer. After about 15 minutes of waiting you get your result. One pink line with no line under it means that it’s negative result.

With testing limited, could the daily number of cases in Mississippi actually be higher than reported? That remains unclear for now.

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