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Rural communities seeing more people coming in for COVID-19 tests

Rural communities outside the quad cities are starting to see positive COVID -19 cases trickle in.

OQUAWKA, Ill. —  Rural communities outside the quad cities are starting to see positive COVID -19 cases trickle in.

Eagle View Community Health Systems in Oquawka is offering drive through testing. They are using Slagels Fruit Stand, helping to keep people out of the clinic.

"We basically just brought our equipment over and it works well," Eagle View Community Health Systems Dr. Jennifer Reed said. People drive up,  we see them, we swab them, and send them out."

Dr. Reed said the clinic is just now starting to see more patients coming for COVID-19 tests.

"We are kind of seeing the first of it here really over the past couple weeks," Dr. Reed said.

She says the delay is because the virus took longer to get to rural communities.

"It's just easier to social distance in a rural area and there are less people," Dr. Reed said.

Due to the delay in positive cases, it gave rural clinics, like Eagle View, the opportunity to stock up on PPE and testing kits.

"We were kind of preparing there while everyone else was getting hit hard," Dr. Reed said. "Now it's starting to trickle in."

"The state did give us about 100 tests and that really has helped us ramp up the testing we are doing now," Eagle View Director of Operations Jana Cozadd said. 

Other testing sites have limited tests, so not every person can get tested. They have to meet certain criteria. But, at Eagle View's testing site, they have enough tests, so they aren't selective. 

" A lot of places will make you meet a certain criteria, which we do as well, but there are certain occasions where you can be tested," Cozadd said.

"We prioritize the sickest people, people with symptoms, but at this point, our testing supplies are enough that we are trying to test anybody essentially who wants to be tested," Dr. Reed said.

Cozadd says the state will replenish their testing kits when they run out. The clinic is able to receive test results in 24 hours. They serve five different counties.

"There is no hospital in our county, so we are kind of like the hub right now for our community," Dr. Reed said. 

  The clinic has had 4 positive cases and has tested nearly 60 people. 

"I am hoping that it slows down," Cozadd said. "I think everybody is hoping it slows down, but if it doesn’t we are prepared."

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