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Howard County is running a free COVID testing site for residents in the former city-county employee clinic at 620 N. Bell St.

The Howard County run COVID-19 testing site will reduce its hours of operations starting next week.

On Monday, Feb. 22, the clinic, located at 620 N. Bell St. will operate under these hours:

  • Monday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Friday: Noon to 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Optum COVID testing site, located at 721 W. Superior St. in the Kokomo Senior Center, will remain open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule a test, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov/2524.htm.

The reason for the reduction in hours of operation? Decreasing demand.

Since mid-January, the county testing site has seen a decrease in the number of people wanting a COVID test, Kristina Sommers, public health emergency coordinator for the Howard County Health Department, said.

The site used to test 300 or more people a day, but now the average is 133 people as of last week, Sommers told the Tribune in an email.

The drop in demand can likely be attributed to the slowing of community spread of the virus Howard County and many other counties in the state are currently experiencing.

The county’s 10-day average for new positive cases of COVID-19 is now at 27, according to Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman. In early December, the county’s 10-day average was a little more than a 100 per day.

Hospitalizations due to COVID, too, are down considerably since early December. According to Wyman, “under 15” people are in the hospital for COVID as of Sunday. That’s down from over 50 in early December.

Deaths due to COVID, though, continue to creep up. The county currently has 186 confirmed deaths due to the virus as of Tuesday, an increase of 64 deaths since New Year’s Day.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich

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