Jan. 14—People received COVID-19 tests on the sidewalk in front of Muskogee Public Schools Education Service Center on Thursday.
The MPS administration building, at Broadway and Second Street, was one of several mobile sites the Muskogee County Health Department set up over the past few weeks to test for and vaccinate against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
"We are reaching out to the community to do vaccines and testing through the health department, to provide that convenience to the public," said Jeremy Colbert, a District 7 health equity specialist with the Oklahoma Health Department. "We set up at different parking lots, but usually it's a business that asks us to come out. We'll come in and provide vaccines and testing for their employees."
District 7 serves eight area counties: Muskogee, Adair, Cherokee, Haskell, McIntosh, Okmulgee, Okfuskee, and Sequoyah.
The mobile testing and vaccination unit went to Muskogee High School and the Education Service Center on Thursday. Earlier this week, the unit visited Sadler Arts Academy, New Tech at Cherokee Elementary, Irving Elementary, Tony Goetz Elementary and Pershing Elementary.
MPS Marketing and Communications Director Steve Braun said the district's health and social services director, Julia Price, had been in contact with the county health department. According to a running seven-day total of cases, posted Tuesday on the MPS website, there were 16 positive cases in isolation among the 623 staff members, and 82 positive cases in isolation among 4,700 students.
Jackie Lloyd, who was tested Thursday, said her elementary-age son tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, so she took the test as a precaution. She said the mobile testing unit was at Creek Elementary on Tuesday. She said her sister, a secretary there, told her the van would be at the ESC Thursday.
Lloyd said she has been vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but wanted to be precautionary.
Braun said the sites were set up for staff, as well as for students accompanied by parents. He said the health department could visit other school sites in the future.
Colbert said it is up to the business or school to decide whether the vaccinations or testing site is open to the public.
The health department will have a public pop-up walk-in testing and vaccination site site Monday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center as part of its Martin Luther King Day festivities. MLK Center Director Derrick Reed said the unit will be in the parking lot throughout the day with other vendors.
Colbert said a mobile unit had come to the Lakeland Shopping Center parking lot twice a month, until the weather turned cold. He said it might return to the shopping center when the weather allows.
Oklahoma Health Department has after-hours clinics in area counties to help meet the testing demand during the surge, said District 7 Public Information Officer Jennifer Avery.
"They can always check our Facebook page, we'll have the schedules up for each county department within our district," Avery said. "They can also call to talk to our health department staff."
Oklahoma Health Department also has a website — osdh.immytech.com — where people can find open testing appointments and register for them, she said. The department will email the test results back to the site users.
"We send their tests to the labs, the labs will process it and then send the results straight to them," she said.
If you go
WHAT: Mobile COVID-19 vaccination and testing site.
WHO: Muskogee County Health Department.
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday.
WHERE: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 300 W. Martin Luther King St.
What to do
To schedule a COVID-19 test appointment, go to https://osdh.immytech.com/
County Health Department Facebook pages also post after-hour schedules: