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1,000 plus tests given at GC testing center

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Free testing for COVID-19 continues at the Grayson County Health Department in Sherman.

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Information released this week by the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management and the GC Health Department shows that the majority of the people being tested for COVID-19 in the free drive through testing at the HD are getting good news.

Out of 1,053 tests given as of Sept. 19, only 25 were positive for COVID-19 and 1,002 were negative.

As for the remaining 26, Grayson County Health Department Director Amanda Ortez said, “They would be a combination of pending, inconclusive, or simply rejected by the lab.”

The large number of negative test results could mean a lot of things.

“There are so many variables that could be impacting the test results,” Ortez said. “Since there are no specific requirements for testing, it could be that the majority of the individuals being tested are not experiencing any symptoms, but would like to know if they are positive and asymptomatic. It could also mean that those individuals that are symptomatic — yet test negative — may not be at specific viral detection levels based upon the sensitivity of the test.”

Anyone who tests negative today could be positive tomorrow.

“Also, since it’s an oral specimen being collected for analysis, it could be the patient didn’t adhere to the requirements to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum, etc. for at least 25 minutes prior to testing,” she said.

There are also two more big reasons people who feel they do not have the virus may be getting tested anyway.

“... several people have called us asking if the GoGetTested team would test for travel purposes,” she said. “Some travelers are required to have a negative test results prior to entering other states or countries, depending on where the individual is traveling. In addition, some employers are requiring employees to have a negative test to start work or return to work. This would have an impact on the overall results as well.”

Either way, Ortez said the information lets the county know that the testing is very important.

“I think that it’s clear that the members of our community want to know if they are infected, so that they can take action and isolate themselves away from others if they are positive,” Ortez said. “Regardless if a COVID-19 test result is negative, if an individual is symptomatic (sick), they should stay at home. Doing so will help prevent the transmission of any illness.”

Still, the number of tests given has provided the GCHD with some very important information.

“I think that it’s clear that the members of our community want to know if they are infected, so that they can take action and isolate themselves away from others if they are positive,” Ortez said. “Regardless if a COVID-19 test result is negative, if an individual is symptomatic (sick), they should stay at home. Doing so will help prevent the transmission of any illness.”

The test numbers released by the GCHD and GCOEM about the testing by WellHealth do not include the numbers released each day by the Grayson County Health Department or the tests being done at Austin College.

For more coronavirus related news, visit http://www.HeraldDemocrat.com/coronavirus.

Drive through testing at Grayson County Health Department will continue until no longer needed

WellHealth is setup to continue COVID-19 testing on the parking lot of the Grayson County Health Department, 515 N. Walnut, in Sherman from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday as long as people continue to use the service. To register for a test, go to GoGetTested.com.