With increase in illnesses, Riley Co. to offer free virus tests with appointment

Published: Dec. 11, 2022 at 1:00 PM CST
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RILEY CO., Kan. (WIBW) - With an increase in illnesses this flu season, Riley County will offer free virus tests with an appointment at its mobile response trailer.

The Riley County Health Department says that starting Monday, Dec. 12, it will offer free tests for influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and COVID-19 from its mobile response trailer. Appointments will be required, however, the tests will be free of charge.

To get scheduled, RCHD indicated that patients may use the online portal HERE. Appointments can be made for the same day. Only one appointment option is available, however, when it comes time for the visit at the mobile trailer, they will be able to choose which tests they need.

RCHD noted that results from flu and COVID tests will be sent straight to the patient through text or email. Patients will be asked to wait 15 minutes to get RSV test results in person.

The Health Department said appointments will be available Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It said one sample will be taken for each test performed.

“There are many viruses going around right now, and a lot of people are ill. While some have similar symptoms, the treatment options and risks are different for each, and the duration of the illnesses can differ as well,” said Health Department Director Julie Gibbs. “The CDC recommends those who test positive for COVID-19 isolate for at least 5 days. This is different from isolation recommendations for other respiratory illnesses.”

RCHD noted that testing has been made possible through support from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

“If you have any symptoms, please get tested,” said Gibbs. “Call your physician if you are considered high risk for complications and you have symptoms. If you have life-threatening symptoms, please seek medical attention right away.”

The Health Department said those with symptoms of COVID, the flu or RSV should take necessary precautions to avoid the spread of the illness. It said the same measures that reduce the risk of COVID spread also reduce transmission of other viruses.

“If you’re sick, stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. It’s always a good idea to call your doctor if you have questions,” said Gibbs. “Some people can experience mild illness with some of these viruses, but anyone who would like advice should call their healthcare provider right away. If your symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing or very high fever, don’t wait - seek medical care immediately.”

RCHD noted that those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to get vaccinations.