Walton County Drive Thru COVID-19 Testing Locations. Update

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by Teresa, May 6, 2020.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Department of Health - Walton has announced that they will be offering multiple drive-thru COVID-19 testing opportunities throughout the County beginning Thursday, May 14th. This COVID-19 testing is available to all members of the public at no charge. No appointment or preregistration is needed. If you have questions, please contact DOH-Walton at 850-401-6453.

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  2. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    ALL Walton Residents Urged to Participate in Free, Drive-through Coronavirus Testing:
    "It’s very important for us to get a snapshot of what’s going on this community," health administrator says.


    Until recently Walton County’s coronavirus testing has lagged far behind neighboring counties and the state. When the virus was first discovered taking hold in cities across the country, residents were overwhelming officials with requests for tests that just weren’t available. Lots of people were sick and wondered if they might have gotten the virus. Others were just wondering if they had been exposed.

    “We had to turn a lot of people down,” said Holly Holt, administrator of the Walton County Health Department.

    She said Walton faced the same challenges that plagued much of the rest of the country: limited access to testing kits and protective equipment for healthcare workers. At that time, tests were restricted to people who were symptomatic and had traveled to a hot spot or been in contact with a confirmed case.

    Currently, the county has tested just over one percent of its estimated population. (The county’s permanent residents are estimated at 72,000. That doesn’t account for the almost 4 million visitors who flock to the beaches each year.)

    Walton’s testing has increased significantly in recent weeks due to a few company-wide outreaches in DeFuniak Springs. With the virus having made it into into a nursing home in that city, Walton County is on its way to becoming a hot spot. Our number of positive infections as a percentage of our population has quickly surpassed that of neighboring counties. But officials really have no way to know how widespread the infection may be because of a lack of testing. Is it contained to the nursing home or the DeFuniak Springs area? Or is it circulating widespread across the county?

    “Even if you don’t look at statistics, we know it's probably out there,” Holt said. “Our testing numbers are not as high as they need to be and our contact tracing is showing that a number of people are testing positive with no symptoms.”

    Officials hope to increase testing numbers dramatically with a series of drive-through testing sites throughout the county starting on May 14. The oral swab tests are free and open to anyone and everyone, whether you have symptoms or not. Participants don’t have to be full-time residents either. It’s the first countywide effort of its kind.

    “I want people to know it’s very important for us to get a snapshot of what’s going on this community,” Holt said. “We need them to come.”

    She hopes to get a minimum of 800 to 1,000 tests completed through the drive-through program. If the county could get a total of 1,400 residents tested in May that would cover about two percent of the population, a level experts recommend as a minimum necessary to have an understanding about how the disease is spreading in a community.

    Holt said requests for tests have dropped off significantly since March and early April. She can only guess at the reasons, but she thinks some people just became tired of asking only to learn they weren’t eligible. She also thinks some people may be scared. If they test positive, especially with businesses opening back up, they could lose work or other opportunities because they would need to quarantine for two weeks.

    But, as the recent outbreak at the Chataqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in DeFuniak shows, an asymptomatic individual or someone who chooses to work even when they are sick can wreak havoc on vulnerable populations. Two deaths have already been reported there.

    “We hope people will be willing to get tested, especially those who are not showing symptoms, so we can actually find out what is going on in our community,” Holt said.

    The test dates and sites are as follows. (A date and location will be added in Paxton at the end of the month, as well.)

    May 14 — 9 a.m. to noon
    Butler Elementary
    Santa Rosa Beach

    May 16 — 9 a.m. to noon
    School District Bus Barn
    Just north of Freeport High School

    May 19 — 9 a.m. to noon
    Gene Hurley Park
    DeFuniak Springs

    May 21 — 9 a.m. to noon
    Mossy Head School
     
  3. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    On Thursday, May 14th, the Department of Health – Walton, along with numerous partners, hosted their first of 4 COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing days.

    The testing began at 9:00 am at Van R. Butler Elementary School in South Walton just south of the intersection of US Hwy 98 and County Road 30-A. The testing was conducted through a throat swab and was made available to any who wanted to receive a test.

    “I am very pleased at the turnout we had for our first community testing drive through event, and encourage everyone to take the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 at one of our other testing sites if they didn’t get to come out yesterday. This testing will help give us a snapshot of our community,” said Holly Holt, Health Officer and Administrator. “I also want to thank all of our Community partners for making this event possible”.

    At the conclusion of the event, a total of 465 tests had been issued in the three and a half hour period.

    “We were able to collect samples for 465 people within three and a half hours,” said Walton County Emergency Management Director Jeff Goldberg. “Without the help of our partners from South Walton Fire District, Point Washington Medical Clinic, Doc Smiley’s Urgent Care, the Matrix, Walton County School District, and Walton County CERT, the drive though testing site would not have run so smoothly.”

    The following drive-thru testing sites will be conducted over the next six days.

    SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2020

    9:00 A.M. – NOON

    School District Bus Barn

    Just North of Freeport High School

    12615 US-331 Business

    Freeport, FL 32439


    TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2020

    9:00 A.M. – NOON

    Gene Hurley Park

    965 Gene Hurley Road

    DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435


    THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2020

    9:00 A.M. – NOON

    Mossy Head School

    13270 US-90

    DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
     
  4. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Happening NOW

    SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2020
    9:00 A.M. – NOON

    School District Bus Barn
    Just North of Freeport High School

    12615 US-331 Business
    Freeport, FL 32439
     
  5. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Free COVID-19 Testing in DeFuniak Springs Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 9am-Noon at Gene Hurley Park, 965 Gene Hurley Road. No appointment or pre-registration needed. All passengers must stay inside vehicles from arrival to departure. Limit the people in your personal vehicle to a maximum of five to be tested. Staff will direct the traffic flow, obtain contact information, collect a brief medical history, and perform the throat swab. Antibody tests will not be available. Wait times may vary. Testing date subject to change due to inclement weather. Questions? Call the Walton County Health Department at (850) 401-6453 or visit Walton.floridahealth.gov.

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  6. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Drive-thru Testing Site Updates

    Due to inclement weather, the drive-thru testing schedule for Thursday, May 21st at Mossy Head Elementary School has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.

    Additionally, a drive-thru testing site has been announced for Paxton on Thursday, May 28th. The event will be held from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the DOH-Walton Paxton Branch at 21505 US Highway 331 North, Laurel Hill, FL.

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  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Mossy Head COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing - June 4

    MOSSY HEAD SCHOOL - 9AM - Noon
    13270 US-90 | DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32433

    Free COVID-19 testing is available to all members of the public. No appointment or pre-registration is needed.

    All passengers must stay inside vehicles from arrival to departure. Limit the people in your personal vehicle to a maximum of five to be tested. Staff will direct the traffic flow,
    obtain contact information, collect a brief medical history, and perform the swab sampling.

    Antibody tests will not be available.

    Questions?
    Call the health department at
    850-401-6453 or visit
    walton.floridahealth.gov.

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  8. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Just Announced - Santa Rosa Beach COVID-19 Testing - Appointments Required.

    Wednesday, June 10th
    Call 850-401-6453 to schedule appointment

    Free COVID-19 testing is available to all members of the public, regardless of symptoms. The testing is by appointment only.

    Children can be tested with parental consent. Children must be able to complete the test without restraint.

    All passengers must stay inside vehicles from arrival to departure. Staff will direct the traffic flow, obtain contact information, collect a brief medical history, and perform the swab sampling. Antibody tests will not be available.

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  9. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Testing Announced by DOH-Walton

    DOH Walton/Walton Community Health Center will conduct free COVID-19 testing Wednesday June 17, 2020 in Paxton, FL and Wednesday June 24, 2020 in DeFuniak Springs, FL by appointment only.
    Call 850-401-6453 for more information and to schedule an appointment.
    Antibody tests will not be available.
     
  10. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Update on DOH-Walton Testing on June 24th

    Originally planned in DeFuniak Springs, the testing on Wednesday, June 24th will now take place in Santa Rosa Beach at the Department of Health located at 361 Greenway Trail.

    This testing is free, but an appointment is required.

    To schedule an appointment, please call 850-401-6453.

    This is a drive-thru testing so all passengers must stay in their vehicles from arrival to departure. Staff will direct traffic flow, obtain contact information, collect a brief medical history and perform the swab sampling.

    Children can be tested with parental consent, but must be able to complete the test without restraint.

    Antibody tests will not be available.
     
  11. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Free, drive thru COVID-19 Community Testing

    Wednesday, July 8, 2020

    Three sites in Walton County:
    8:30-9:30 am at Coastal Branch
    361 Greenway Trail
    Santa Rosa Beach 32459

    10-11am in Paxton
    21505 US Hwy 331 N
    Laurel Hill 32567

    4:30-6:30pm In DeFuniak Springs
    362 State Hwy 83
    DeFuniak Springs 32433

    BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
    Call 850-401-6453 to schedule an appointment today!
    Free COVID-19 testing is available to all members of the public regardless of symptoms. Children can be tested with parental consent. Children must be able to complete test without restraint. All passengers must stay inside vehicles from arrival to departure. Staff will direct the traffic flow, obtain contact information, collect a brief medical history, and perform the swab sampling. Antibody tests will not be available.
    Remember to ask if this will be the nasal or throat swab when you call for your appointment, at 850-401-6453. More information is available on the website: walton.floridahealth.gov
    Testing date is subject to change due to inclement weather.

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  12. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    COVID TESTING!!!

    Please see two options for COVID testing - appointment based drive through and no appointment necessary drive through. Anyone that desires a test will be tested, symptomatic and asymptotic. This is NOT a rapid test and antibody tests are NOT being done.

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  13. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    FREE COVID TESTING
    Two Options...

    1. BY APPOINTMENT
    Convenient appointments are available at
    one of our testing locations! Call 850-401-6453
    to schedule an appointment. Testing locations
    include:

    DEFUNIAK SPRINGS COMMUNITY CENTER
    361 North 10th Street
    DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32433

    SANTA ROSA BEACH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN WALTON COUNTY - COASTAL BRANCH
    361 Greenway Trail
    Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

    2. DRIVE-THRU
    No appointment or pre-registration needed. Wait times may vary. Testing dates and locations include:

    August 4, 2020
    3 P.M. – 6 P.M.
    GENE HURLEY PARK
    965 Gene Hurley Road
    DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435

    August 25, 2020
    3 P.M. – 6 P.M.
    LOCATION: TO BE ANNOUNCED
    Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459

    Testing is oral swabs. THESE TESTS ARE NOT ANTIBODY OR RAPID TESTS.

    Please contact the Health Department at 850-401-6453 if you have any questions.

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