GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Rite Aid has opened 25 COVID-19 testing sites across the United States, one of which is on North State Street in Girard.
The decision was not made randomly, but rather, because of the high number of cases around Youngstown.
“You know, this was something that was selected by the White House Task Force and HHS [Health and Human Services] and it’s based on the high amount of confirmed cases of COVID we have in Mahoning County. We have a true need here,” said pharmacist Katie Moldovan, a Rite Aid regional pharmacy leader.
Rite Aid is using a free self-testing system. People pull up in a vehicle, are handed the testing kit, then turn in the sample once they’re finished.
“Everybody’s seen the horrific videos on YouTube of how deep you have to go in to collect the sample. That’s not the case with this one. You just have to insert, essentially, a elongated q-tip into your nostril, do swiping and then holding for 15 seconds. They do that on each side,” Moldovan said.
People interested must first create an online profile on Rite Aid’s website. It must include an email address because that’s how all correspondence is done. Then there’s an online assessment.
Currently, only health care workers, first responders and people with risk factors or symptoms are being tested. But, everyone with a profile will be notified should the day come when everyone else is allowed.
“So even if somebody is not eligible today, just like you and I have seen, every day there’s updates, every day there’s changes. So they could be eligible tomorrow if the CDC changes its recommendations,” Moldovan said.
The Girard Rite Aid is starting with 200 tests a day but has the ability to do 400 a day.
Moldovan had a totally different take on the supposed testing shortage.
“There is not a shortage. That needs clarified. There is not a shortage of tests,” she said. “We have the supply. We can do 400 tests in a day. I’m hoping we get to that point because again, there is a need in this community.”
Testing at the Girard location is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.