Hundreds Tested for COVID-19 in Dade County on July 1

by James McNary, Articles Editor

Several hundred people from Dade County and other areas nearby turned out to be tested for COVID-19 last Wednesday, July 1, at a drive-through testing site set up on the premises of Main Street Baptist Church. The testing site was operated by the Missouri National Guard on behalf of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, at the request of the Dade County Health Department.

DCHD Administrator Pam Allen said that 235 individuals were tested for COVID-19 at the site. The 4 testing positive included three from Jasper County and the other was from Newton.

“All of those testing positive were from other counties – they drove up here to be tested, got tested, and went home,” said Allen. “We’re sure that they did not leave their vehicles at any point while they were in Dade County.”

Allen said that bringing the testing opportunity to Greenfield and Dade County will hopefully provide some peace of mind to residents and business owners that while neighboring counties, including Lawrence, are seeing a spike in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, Dade County has yet to see more than the single positive case that was confirmed last month. That individual has been confirmed as having recovered, as well.

“I’m glad we did it. A lot of people have been asking for this, and it took a lot people to make it happen,” said Allen.

In addition to the 38 personnel of the Missouri National Guard and members of the DCHD staff working to make the testing site happen, Allen said that thanks also goes to Main Street Baptist Church for allowing the use of their parking lot for the testing site, and to Greenfield Ready-Mix for loaning the concrete barriers used for traffic control. The barriers were transported to the site by Greenfield Public Works Superintendent Andy Miller and his staff, who Allen said deserved to be thanked for helping out on short notice.

“Even Subway helped us out, by taking the large food order for all the National Guard members and making all 50 of the sandwiches with fresh bread, no problem,” said Allen. “I really want to thank them and their manager for pitching in for that; they could have just said, ‘No, that’s too big an order for us to handle.’, but they got it done for us.”

Allen said that the people of Dade County deserve a lot of credit for working to ensure COVID-19 doesn’t hit the county hard as it has neighboring counties, and that the pandemic is far from over.

“We’re trying to do all we can to keep it from coming here, and we’ve worked hard to make sure all the events going on are the best that they can be considering what’s going on,” said Allen.

The next challenge Allen sees is when classes resume at the various schools in the county, and she said that she and the health department will be there for the schools of the county in any way that they can be.

Despite all the hardship and frustration brought on by COVID-19, Allen said that she hopes at least some positives can come from this situation once it is finally over

“I hope that we’ve all learned and will remember good hygiene practices, especially when it comes to the next flu season,” said Allen. “We’ve got a good, strong community here, doing the best they can with the hand they’ve been dealt. We all just have to take things one day at a time.”