St Charles County offering free COVID-19 testing this weekend 


Photo by James Tananan Kamnuedkhun

A woman performs a COVID-19 test at the Family Arena on Nov. 12.

Alexis Montgomery, Editor-in-Chief

More than 700 people have been tested for COVID-19 for free at the Family Arena in St. Charles so far this weekend. 

The testing runs through Saturday. 

Missouri National Guard Capt. Jeremy Idleman said the registration process for the drive-thru testing site is easy.  

“Registration takes less than five minutes,” Idleman said. “And then once you register they’ll give you a date and time slot.”

The tests will be open to all Missouri residents from Nov. 12-14. Individuals wishing to be tested do not need to be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have proof of insurance to be tested. 

While it’s not required, registering for an appointment at the Department of Health and Senior Services website before getting tested will speed the process up, according to the St. Charles County Website

At the testing site, those not registered will be asked to pull to the side and register. Once registered, National Guardsmen will verify personal information. 

“Then once that’s done, you move on to the medics that are actually testing, and they give you the option to either swab yourself, or to have them do it,” Idleman said. “What you do is you take one swab and roll it around your nose in each nostril for about 10 seconds.”

After the swab is complete, Idleman said the vial is sealed and sent to the lab. Results are typically returned within 24 to 72 hours. The results can be sent by text or email. A positive test result will be followed through with contact tracing. 

Idleman said the Missouri National Guard is playing several roles at mobile testing sites. 

“We have four different teams around the state of Missouri, two teams which are rotating. And then we have soldiers that are doing the data collection,” Idleman said. “That’s what they are doing at the tables, they’re sending in the data of the registrants.”

The soldiers also answer the phones for those calling about testing. 

Lindenwood’s COVID-19 cases have drastically increased over the past week, and students were encouraged to take advantage of the free testing in an email that warned of the spike in cases. 

Testing will be available Saturday, Nov. 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.