Floyd County has seen a rise in reported COVID-19 infections over the past week but health officials are largely attributing that to testing availability.
On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health reported 21 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative infection total to 208. DPH puts counties in one of six tiers according to the number of cases per 100,000 people. Floyd County’s population is 99,916. A rate of 225 or less is the second tier, just above zero.
The recent increase in local cases, which had been relatively flat for a few weeks, comes after ramped up testing by the state. Earlier in May, public health officials announced free testing would be available for everyone. Initially, that met with a tepid response locally, but those numbers have been picking up.
The numbers don’t constitute a real time tally and the cumulative totals won’t go down, so they don’t represent the current number of people who are COVID-19 positive in Floyd County.
There is also a lag time in those reports. On a graph detailing new cases, the DPH lists a two-week lag time for reports.
Local hospitals report to the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency every day. On Wednesday, the EMA reported there were three people being treated in local hospitals for a COVID-19 infection.
Free COVID-19 testing still available
The Department of Public Health is still offering free COVID-19 tests for anyone, whether they have symptoms or not, at West Rome Baptist Church, 914 Shorter Ave.
They’re asking for people to call ahead to schedule a test time but will not turn away walk ups.
To schedule an appointment you can call 706-802-5329, 706-802-5885, 706-802-5886 or 706-802-5888. Test times are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
You can also email email@example.com to schedule a test. Include your name and phone number.
“We encourage everyone to get tested for COVID-19 infection to determine who is currently ill and contagious,” said Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the DPH Northwest Health District, in a press release.
“This helps us identify people who might transmit the virus,” he explained. “We can then isolate them to prevent transmission, ensure they’re cared for, identify and interview their close contacts, and quarantine and monitor these individuals as necessary to slow the spread of the virus.”