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Health officials encourage COVID-19 community testing sign-ups for Northeast Missouri residents

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A 'red zone', that's what the White House Coronavirus task force is calling Ralls County, Missouri, as well as other counties in our viewing area including Marion county.

Ralls County health officials said testing is coming to the region this week, as part of an effort to slow the spread through contact tracing.

"Mostly it's just if you're doing the right things, it'll show you just won't have as much cases," said Mark Twain High School Junior Dustin Smith.

He said district that are requiring masks and social distancing seem to be fairing better than those that aren't…

Smith said he's been tested before and had to sit time out of class waiting for a negative result, he said if more testing keeps the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum and keeps him in class, he's for it.

"Outside of school, I feel like I just don't have as much help being able to have the ability to raise my hand and teacher combined help me is really good. Most of my classes this year ag classes so it's really good to have that as a class in school and not outside of school it's a lot more hands on learning," said Smith.

Officials at the Ralls County Health Department said that's part of why it's important for people here in the region to get tested,"

"You know, keep the spread low. Our kids are now in their third week of school things are going very well. Other than back when we had to quarantine the football team. So far it's been going great," said Ralls County Health Department administrator Tanya Taylor.

She said testing will be this Wednesday from 10 A.M. to 7 P.M. at the Arch Methodist Church off Highway 61.

She said any Missouri resident who wants to get tested needs to sign up before hand.

"Mainly people with symptoms, you know, we definitely want to catch those, but we also want to catch the people that aren't having symptoms," said Taylor, talking about how anyone can get tested.

Smith said having testing available closer to where people live is helpful as well.

"A lot of people are getting sick a lot of people are going on with animal get tested but being at one right here next to us is actually really helpful," said Smith.

If you're interested in signing up to get tested, you can go online to health.mo.gov/communitytest or call 877-435-8411.

Ralls County Health Department officials said despite White House recommendations regarding closing of bars and mask mandates in 'red zones' like Ralls county, they're still asking residents to take personal responsibility on the matter by following CDC guidelines to stop the spread themselves.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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