Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Hamilton County and Cincinnati health departments were preparing to handle any emergencies that might arise.
“We actually ran through a scenario where we were closing down schools and businesses, so very similar to what we are seeing now,” said Greg Kesterman, Hamilton County Health Commissioner.
Health departments play an important role in a community’s response to COVID-19. One of their most critical responsibilities in Cincinnati has been making COVID-19 testing accessible and free.
“We’re working to make this available for the community as long as it’s needed,” Kesterman said.
To find a list of testing locations and details (such as whether an appointment is needed), visit one of the following websites:
Another important resource is pop-up testing, or one-time testing in specific neighborhoods with greater needs.
“We encourage everyone to go to the pop-up testing sites, whether you have insurance or not,” said Domonic Hopson, assistant health commissioner at Cincinnati Health Department.
When deciding where to locate testing sites, both health departments looked at zip codes with higher rates of positive cases and/or barriers such as transportation.
The local agencies are also performing contact tracing, which involves identifying people who may be at risk of developing COVID-19 based on their recent contact with someone who tested positive.