Almost two dozen Fluvanna Residents Tested at Drive-thru

Clinic Finds No New Cases of the Virus

By Heather Michon

Almost two dozen area residents were tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru clinic at Central Elementary School in Palmyra on Saturday (April 25).

All 22 tests came back negative for the virus.

Jessica Salah, Health Emergency Coordinator for the Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) said this pilot test for future drive-thru clinics had been a successful collaboration between her department and other groups.

“We had a great working relationship with Fluvanna County,” she said, including the sheriff’s office and parks & recreation. “It was so easy.”

This allowed TJHD to focus on collecting test samples, which were sent to the University of Virginia for analysis. “We’re happy to see these people tested negative,” she said.

Had there been any positive results, this would have triggered a call from one of TJHD’s case investigators.

A case investigator helps the patient establish the onset of symptoms and gives the patient and those they might be living with “full guidance on what to do” in terms of isolation and quarantine.

Investigators also work with the patient to draw a list of people they might have come in contact with before they realized they were sick. Those individuals can then be informed of their exposure and given guidance on testing and isolation.

Contact tracing in “an extensive process” and most TJHD staff has now been trained as case investigators.

This approach has helped identify many individuals who may have had contact with Envoy at the Village, the Fork Union nursing home that has become an epicenter for the virus in Central Virginia.

Initially, the criteria for testing at the clinic included contact with Envoy. When they received few calls on that basis, they opened the testing to the wider community. Salah said she thinks they had already identified the majority of people who might have been exposed to the virus at the facility.

The lack of new cases from the testing is good news, but Salah urged Fluvanna residents to follow the guidelines to reduce exposure to the virus. “Definitely wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, and if you’re not sure…stay home.”

She also encouraged people to stay healthy with plenty of good food and exercise.

And while it remains important to keep a physical distance of six or more feet from others, “we want people to be social,” she said. “You can still talk to your neighbor across the fence.”

If you think you may have COVID-19 and need testing, you can call the TJHD Hotline at 434-972-6261 for assistance.

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