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COVID testing a key tool in providing peace of mind

Testing remains a key tool to keeping Missourians safe and open for activity.

Testing is not only for those who are symptomatic, but important for periodic surveillance especially when interacting with vulnerable populations and crowds. Many camps, events, and travel now require evidence of a test result before participation.

A simple test can provide peace of mind. Missouri provides several options for obtaining a free COVID-19 PCR test without any symptom criteria. The opportunities for testing include:

Free testing sites (sponsored by Missouri DHSS)

Free at-home test kits (shipped to home)

Pharmacies providing free testing (sponsored by U.S. Health and Human Services)

Free testing sites (sponsored by Missouri DHSS)

The following are drive-thru testing events. Some sites have an appointment time and require pre-registration.  Family and friends are able to assist in registration of others needing testing.  If the sites does not require pre-registration, having a state issued identification card available at the testing site will speed up the process immensely; however, no identification documents are required. Results will be available as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours from the event.

During the next few months, it may be necessary to cancel a testing event due to inclement weather in order to protect the safety of our testing staff and those who are seeking testing. Before heading to an event during these times, it is best to check and make sure the event has not been cancelled. The phone number for the cancellation schedule is 417-362-6398.

Locally, testing takes place every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the North Parking Lot of the Joseph Newman Innovation Center at 407 Pennsylvania Ave. (across the street from the Joplin Health Department).

Free at-home test kits (shipped to home):

This option allows for ordering a kit to be shipped to home. After self-collection by easy-to-follow instructions, the kit is returned to a laboratory free of charge via FedEx. You must provide an email address in order to receive the test result.

Once ordered, the kit arrives in 2 days. The kit is good for 6 months. Once the sample has been collected, it must be packaged in the prepaid FedEx shipping envelope (according to directions) and returned to a FedEx collection site within 24 hours.

For more information, including Spanish-language instructions, check out the page at Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

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