Free drive-through and walkup COVID-19 testing will be offered from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the DeWitt /Piatt Bi-County Health Department, 1020 S. Market St. in Monticello.

Health Administrator David Remmert said the effort is partially aimed at limiting the spread of cases after this week's Thanksgiving holiday.

“It's right after the Thanksgiving holiday, and kids are going back to school (on Dec. 7 in Monticello), and I think it provides an opportunity for basically everybody to be tested. You don't have to have symptoms,” said Remmert.

“I think the value of that is that a lot of the cases that we are learning about, the person is asymptomatic,” he added. “It's a good idea to get tested even if you don't have symptoms.”

Remmert said that national studies estimate that 40 percent of COVID-positive people are asymptomatic. He pointed out that, while those are typically not as contagious as symptomatic cases, COVID-19 can still be passed on by those individuals.

Piatt County has been recording a record number of positive COVID-19 tests in recent weeks, including 115 new cases in the six-day period of Nov. 15-20.

Simple nasal swabs will be used at the clinic in Monticello. There is not cost for the testing. Insurance cards should be brought, but tests can be obtained without insurance.

Remmert encourages all to be tested, not just those who feel sick.

“Isolating those individuals, even though they may not have symptoms, it's an important safeguard for the rest of the public,” he said.

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