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Pop-up COVID testing sites coming to Belmont County

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Pop-up testing centers are coming to Belmont County to provide quick-stop testing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

During his Wednesday presentation to the county commissioners, Belmont County Deputy Health Director Robert Sproul reported he has been in contact with the Ohio National Guard to set up sites in different parts of the county.

On Thursday, he reported the dates and times have been finalized.

“Testing will be conducted in Barnesville on Sept. 19, Bellaire Sept. 26 and at (Ohio University Eastern) on Oct. 3. All will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” he said.

The Bellaire testing site will be located across from the high school, and the Barnesville site at the park.

The tests are free, regardless of whether the person stopping by has insurance.

Sproul declined to speculate about how many people might show up during each test day.

“Some of these events, they’ve had large numbers, some, they’ve had small numbers. It’s open to the public,” he said.

He said the Guard setting up testing sites does not indicate fear of a spike in new cases from the schools reopening. The National Church Association in Barnesville and Bellaire petitioned the National Guard to host the sites.

“They’ve been able to get us on the list. It just happened to be our time to be able to conduct testing,” he said.

Belmont County picked up another three positive cases since Wednesday, with Sproul reporting a total of 719 positive test results since March, with 32 actively infected patients in isolation at home. A total of five residents are hospitalized with the virus, and 25 people have died while infected in Belmont County.

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