COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
Some COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in Mid-Missouri have closed or plan to close due to a decrease in demand.
Hospitals say a reduced demand for testing caused the testing sites to close.
Wednesday morning, SSM St. Mary's in Jefferson City and Boone Hospital Center announced separately their drive-thru testing sites will close after Friday.
SSM St. Mary's Hospital in Mexico closed its testing site on Feb. 23 because of a decrease in testing and reduction of COVID-19 spread.
A spokeswoman for SSM Health, Jessica Royston, said in November 2020 the hospital tested more than 1,600 people through the drive-thru site, while in February 2021, it tested just over 100 people for the entire month.
"With sustained lower volumes, we made the decision to shift those resources elsewhere in the hospital. Additionally, the number of active cases in Cole County continues to decline," Royston said.
In the first 10 days of March, the Cole County Health Department reported there are 26 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, according to the department's COVID-19 dashboard.
Dr. Randall Williams with the Missouri Health and Senior Services Department said even with testing sites are closing, it is still important to get tested.
"It makes me a little concerned because I clearly we want people especially if they are symptomatic or a close contact we really do want to encourage them to get tested," Williams said.
There are several different ways to get tested in your community.
"There are home based tests now there is saliva testing there is the antigen testing that's much more prevalent," Williams said.
SSM said anyone who feels sick and has COVID-19 symptoms should contact their primary care provider or go to SSM Health Urgent Care to receive a test.
Patients who need a COVID-19 test in Boone County can use any of Boone Health Center's lab draw locations.
MU Health Care offers COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday at the Mizzou North Building in Columbia from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.