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DAILY DEBRIEF: Public health officials struggle to keep up with demand for free COVID testing (podcast)

Over the weekend the Wayne County Health Department announced a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic to be held at the Lyons Bus Garage on Clyde Road.

It took around 24 hours for it to fill up, according to Ryan Mulhern, who serves as public health educator and public information officer for Wayne County Public Health.

The clinic took much longer to put together. “You have to find a site, capable of handling the volume – you’re going to create impacts on traffic patterns – especially now-a-days as we do more and more of our clinics as drive-thru opportunities,” Mulhern said. While public health practices clinic execution on a regular basis — funding them can be a challenge. There’s also the challenge of finding enough tests to perform a clinic like the one slated for this week.

But why haven’t there been more free COVID testing clinics? It was one of the pieces of feedback the county received after announcing that this week’s clinic filled up.

We spoke with Wayne County Public Health to find out what it would take to get more testing clinics rolling in rural, Upstate communities.


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