VERSAILLES, Ky. — A new COVID-19 testing site opened in Woodford County on Monday.

The county has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state but public health officials said more testing is critical to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

What You Need To Know

  • Woodford County unveiled a new COVID-19 vaccine site

  • Public Health Director Cassie Prather said more testing is needed to mitigate the spread of the virus

  • Gravity Diagnostics will conduct the free drive-thru testing

  • Woodford County leads the state with a 75.5% vaccination rate

The site was opened by the bus garage located in Versailles for Woodford County Public Schools. Early Monday morning saw a line of cars pulled up for a cotton swab.

"I've already had it myself, you know, it's already been in our family," said Dawn Brooks, a Woodford County resident who was among 40 or more people getting tested for free.

Government and public health officials in Woodford County cut a ribbon to unveil a new COVID-19 testing site. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

"I’ve been around somebody that got diagnosed with COVID[-19]. So I’m here to see," Brooks said.

Like many, the mother is aggravated and wishes the pandemic would end.

"My 5-year-old has missed a lot of school already because he has really bad allergies," Brooks said. "So every time, you know, if he goes to school, he gets sent back home because he's got a runny nose or he's coughing. You can't do that though, so he's gotten tested more than anybody in our family."

With the help of Gravity Diagnostics, Public Health Director Cassie Prather said Woodford County is now able to offer drive-thru testing in the community.

"Testing is necessary right now because of the case numbers being so high. That means that more people are needing to be tested, and testing is critical to controlling (and) mitigating the spread of COVID-19," Prather said.

According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the county leads the state with a 75.5% vaccination rate.

"If you do not know you've been infected or do not know that that is your diagnosis, you cannot isolate yourself or quarantine those who have been exposed. So, testing is critical to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in a community," Prather said.

Offering more testing is also part of helping the community reduce quarantines for any non-household contact exposures of the virus, Prather explained.

"We want to keep our kids in school. We want to keep our businesses open and there is an option to test out of quarantine on day five, if you test negative, you can return to work or school on day eight," Prather said. "And so it's really critical to have plenty of testing options are available for folks that want to be able to return to work or school, a few days early if they're symptom free."

Prather credits Versailles and Midway cities and Woodford County governments along with help from the Woodford County Public Schools for continued efforts on mitigating the spread of the virus.

The drive-thru testing site is open twice a week in Woodford County on Mondays from 7-9 a.m. and Thursdays 2-6 p.m. at 207 Simmons St. in Versailles.