Health and H.O.P.E

Staff from the Warren County Health Department and H.O.P.E. Regional Medical Clinic gather to conduct a COVID-19 testing event July 11 at the Warren County Armory Civic Center.

Citizens concerned about COVID-19 are invited to participate in a testing event on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Warren County High School, 149 Campus Dr., Warrenton.

There are no out-of-pocket costs and no appointments are required. 

Participants need to bring their identification, and those with insurance need to bring their insurance cards. There will be no co-pays. Those without insurance can still get tested.

Although pre-registration is not required, registration forms are needed and may be filled out at the testing event or in advance. Forms may be picked up prior to the event at H.O.P.E. Regional Medical Clinic, 546 W. Ridgeway St., or from the Warren County Health Department, 544 W. Ridgeway St., both in Warrenton.

With the number of active cases of COVID-19 on the decline in Warren County, Dr. Margaret Brake, Warren County health director, said that practicing preventive strategies to slow the spread appears to be working.

“Practicing the three Ws is still important and has been effective across the state and in Warren County,” she said.

The three Ws when you leave home are: Wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth; Wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact; and Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Brake said that Saturday’s drive-thru testing is just the latest effort to increase access to testing in different locations in the county.

”It’s been a big goal of ours as a public health agency to make testing more available to folks in the community,” she said.

The health department previously partnered on a local COVID-19 testing event with the state’s CHAMP initiative, which focused on providing access to free testing for marginalized communities. 

Also helping to reach the underserved is one of Saturday’s testing event partners, North Carolina Central University’s Advanced Center for COVID-19 Related Disparities, or ACCORD. 

ACCORD is studying the public health and economic impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities. Initiatives include testing assistance with a focus on nine counties: Warren, Halifax, Vance, Granville, Durham, Anson, Cabarrus, New Hanover and Rowan.

ACCORD is also studying the social and economic impact of COVID-19 and identifying barriers to testing and vaccination among the underserved. Barriers in communities like Warren County can include lack of transportation, food insecurity and poverty, Brake said, which can negatively impact health outcomes.

Since March, 5,018 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Warren County, Brake said. She reminded everyone to continue practicing preventive measures—the three Ws—and that there is no out-of-pocket cost to participate in the Sept. 12 COVID-19 testing event.

Participants at the event will receive free cloth masks donated by the Warren County Department of Emergency Services  and a packet containing educational materials and small bottles of hand sanitizer provided by the health department.

Event sponsors include Warren County Health Department, H.O.P.E. Regional Medical Clinic, Warren County Schools, Warren County Department of Emergency Services and N.C. Central University ACCORD.

For more information, call H.O.P.E. Regional Medical Clinic at 252-517-9090 or the health department at 252-257-1185.