The 411 on at-home and in-person COVID-19 testing in Upshur County

BUCKHANNON – With the availability of at-home diagnostic tools, COVID-19 testing is more widely available in Upshur County than ever before.

Sue McKisic, nurse director at the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department, said rapid tests may be found at Community Care of West Virginia locations in Buckhannon and Rock Cave.

“If they do a rapid [test] and it comes back positive, that test is pretty much accurate and that goes into the state system,” McKisic told My Buckhannon in a recent interview. “If somebody has no symptoms whatsoever and they test on a rapid and they’re positive, sometimes they’ll do a PCR, which is the swab up the nose,” McKisic said. “Those tests run through a hospital or through laboratories.”

Additionally, Maverick Health, set up in the Public Safety Complex on Florida Street, conducts saliva test.

“The state contracted with them to come to Upshur County because back in July, or early August, we had that explosion of the delta variant, so they are still there,” McKisic said. “They were in Jawbone Park, but they moved into the public safety building because of the weather.”

A previous press release from the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department said Maverick Health would offer the testing from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Sept. 20.

Lisa Wharton, vice president of marketing, public relations and Foundation for St. Joseph’s Hospital, said COVID-19 testing is available at the hospital’s testing trailer between the main entrance and the emergency room. Testing is currently available from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

“The testing is being done outside in our trailer and it’s drive-thru only,” Wharton said. “We don’t do any rapid testing, but we offer two kinds of tests, and one is the state test that you do not have to have a physician’s order for and that gets sent off and you don’t get those results back for two or three days.”

Anyone who needs results more quickly should contact their primary care or other health care provider, Wharton advised.

“If you if you need your results sooner than that [two or three days’ time], you need to have your provider call in an order and then they’ll get the results that same day usually,” she said. “I don’t want to promise, but usually the same day.”

Residents may order at-home testing kits for free in a pack of four per household from the U.S. government here.

Additionally, the following locations may carry at-home COVID-19 tests:

  • Walgreen’s (currently restocking as of Jan. 20)
  • CVS (currently in stock as of Jan. 20)
  • Walmart
  • Kroger

Anyone who purchases at-home COVID-19 testings kits from a pharmacy, grocery store or retail location should keep their receipt to submit to their health insurance carrier for possible reimbursement. Neither Walgreen’s nor CVS are directly billing insurance companies directly for at-home testing materials. Residents are advised to contact their health insurance carriers for proof of purchase and reimbursement requirements.

McKisic said the at-home tests that can be purchased at pharmacies such as Walgreen’s, CVS, Walmart and Kroger are accurate, but if a person tests positive, they should inform the health department.

“With the home test, it’s up to the person who tests positive to notify us, and a lot of people are not notifying us,” McKisic said. “At least then we can give them instructions. If you don’t contact us, we have no way to put this into the state system.”

McKisic said it’s more important than ever to get tested if a person is experiencing symptoms because COVID and its variants have been imitating symptoms from a variety of illnesses, including the common cold, the flu and allergies.

“It’s mimicking everything out there from a stomach bug to a cold and the flu, and we had a couple of people test positive for flu and COVID at the same time,” McKisic said. “A lot of people have told us, ‘I just thought it was my allergies and I went to work for the last four days,’ and they told us they felt like that for a week, so they got tested, but they thought it was just allergies. We just need to encourage everybody who has any symptoms that mimic a cold, flu or stomach bug that they should get tested.”

In-person COVID-19 testing is available at the following locations (subject to availability and appointments may be required):

  • Daily Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the city’s Public Safety Complex, 22 South Florida Street (no appointment needed).
  • Appointments may be made from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Community Care of West Virginia, Buckhannon location on Main Street. Please call 304-472-5600 to schedule an appointment.
  • Appointments may be made from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at CareXpress and Pediatrics of Buckhannon, 4 Northridge Road/Northridge Plaza.

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