Convenient, quick covid testing options are available to Ozark Countians
Ozark County residents who wish to be tested for covid-19 have options in the area.
Testing is currently being offered at the Gainesville Medical Clinic (417-679-4613), Missouri Ozarks Community Health in Gainesville (417-679-2775) and the Theodosia Family Medical Clinic (417-273-2300).
All three facilities told the Times Monday that they are actively testing patients and sending the test samples to laboratories for analyzing. Results are generally received within three to five days. Patients and any immediate family members are asked to quarantine until results are received.
For those who want quicker results, Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains both offer same-day test results through two different types of tests, the antigen and PCR testing. Both tests are administered as nasal swabs and reveal active covid infection.
“The difference between the antigen and the PCR is that the antigen is not as sensitive. It is quicker,” said BRMC infection preventionist Stephanie Free. “It’s about a 15-minute test, but it’s not as sensitive. So what we have to do is that, if we get a negative antigen result, we are confirming those with the PCR, which then could take a little bit longer – but that’s going to give us more accurate results. The PCR test is the gold standard.”
Residents who wish to have the test performed at BRMC should have their doctor send an order for a test to BRMC’s lab. Residents who wish to have the test performed at OMC should call the hospital at 417-505-7120 to setup a tele-heath visit with a physician, who will then order the test.
Patients interested in covid-19 antibody testing, which reveals a past infection, can also be tested at either hospital. Patients should understand that antibody testing is generally not covered under insurance and will need to be paid out of pocket.
Costs of the tests are listed on the BRMC website (baxterregional.org). The covid-19 PCR test or the antigen test is $177.50 each, totaling $355 for both. The antibody test is $145.
Free tests from OCHD
For patients who do not have insurance, the Ozark County Health Department has free covid tests; however, the tests can only be administered by medical professionals. If a patient without insurance visits a clinic in the county to be tested for covid, the doctor’s office calls OCHD, which provides the free test kit. The patient is still responsible for the doctor’s visit and any fees for administering the test. For more information, call the OCHD at 417-679-3334.