White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams on August 18, 2020 (photo Office of the Governor)

Missouri’s state health department will again offer community testing from Sept. 14-23 in 8 counties: Boone County, Nodaway County, Ralls County, St. Charles County, Madison County, Perry County, Jefferson County and St. Francois County. The Department of Health and Senior Services and Missouri National Guard will do the testing, working with local public health agencies.

Missourians can register now for these events at health.mo.gov/communitytest.

CARES Act money will pay for this community testing, with some counties pitching in some of their own CARES Act money.

Governor Parson, in a press briefing Wednesday, said he is urging counties to use that money”for testing and contact tracing, I think it’s crucial to keep these schools open and make things safe.”

In Boone County, for example, a continual surge in COVID-19 cases prompted Columbia Public Schools to revert to online classes to start the semester. The hometown of Mizzou and other colleges saw an increase of 38 new cases since yesterday of residents 18 to 22 years old.

To be tested next week, Missouri residency is the only requirement; individuals do not have to live in the county in which they are tested, and they do not have to display symptoms.  DHSS is also providing a self-administered nasal swab at the specified sites for individuals who would rather do the sampling themselves.

Those without access to online registration can call the Missouri COVID-19 hotline for registration assistance at 877-435-8411. Translation services are available.

The most recent round of community tests covered more than 50 counties from April through July.