Local pharmacy sees uptick of people getting COVID-19 tests

Coronavirus

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio health officials Monday reported 5,568 new cases. That’s up about 1,100 from Sunday but lower than the 21-day average.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, many testing sites are seeing an uptick in people coming in to get tested.

Some say it’s because of recent protocols requiring weekly negative test, other health experts believe it’s the rise in the delta variant.

The Hometown Pharmacy says they have seen a lot more people recently.

Senior Vice President of Operations Ron McDermott believes it’s from businesses requiring weekly tests or proof of vaccination.

“I think since the announcement that a lot of businesses are either going to have to have you get tested or get vaccinated, that uptick kinda correlated with that, and we have definitely seen an increase since then,” McDermott said.

“The need for testing is certainly higher than it was a few months ago for sure,” said Dr. James Kravec of Mercy Health.

Kravec says their eight walk-in locations across the tri-county area have seen an increase in people coming in to get COVID-19 tests.

“The uptick is because people are sick with symptoms, to be honest. Most of this is not surveillance testing,” Kravec said.

Another local hospital is seeing a rise in people coming in to get tested as well. East Liverpool City Hospital has seen quite the jump in the last week or so.

“Recently, we have definitely seen an increase demand for the need for testing. Just looking week on week, last week we tested almost 40% more patients than what we did the prior week. So, it’s a huge increase over the last few weeks,” said Derek Charlier, Manager of Telemetry at East Liverpool City Hospital.

Along with East Liverpool City Hospital, Kravec said that Mercy Health has plenty of PCR tests available, and they do have rapid tests if needed; however, it’s all based on the supply chain.

“To be honest, the supply chain is up and down, based on what’s available and based on the intake of people that are coming in. So, there are times that we will not have rapid tests available in our walk-in cares,” he said.

On Tuesday, East Liverpool City Hospital opened its COVID-19 testing shed up again. Charlier believes it is crucial to have it open again.

“That testing center is starting to open today. We’re opening that back up. There is no appointment needed for this. That’s a drive-thru option. It works the best we thought as far as getting patients in contact with our providers as quick as possible.

Their COVID-19 shed will be open starting Tuesday from 3 until 7 p.m.

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