LEXINGTON, Miss. (WLBT) - State medical officials are taking the fight against the coronavirus to one of the hardest hit areas in Mississippi.
They are asking residents living in and around Lexington to find out their status to help them gather data to combat the spread.
Friday was day one of two days of free COVID-19 testing for all Lexington residents.
Those living in the city and in surrounding areas are urged to participate in the tests which will give the State Department of Health more insight into the transmission as they conduct investigations into cases and contact tracing.
Tests are being offered at the Lexington Public Library and the old Fred's Pharmacy on Yazoo Street.
"A lot of folks are dying and we need to test, so we can try to get rid of the virus," said Lexington resident Virginia Odomes.
The respiratory virus has impacted her loved ones.
“One of my best friends, they’re burying her tomorrow,” said Odomes. “She passed last week or week before last, and then I’ve got a couple of nieces that had it.”
“I haven’t known nobody to have it, but I just want to get tested,” said Ivery K. Walden who was also tested.
“We’re hoping that we can learn from this and do it in other communities throughout the state if it’s an effective way to suppress the coronavirus,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
The state medical expert was in Lexington during Friday’s testings. He said Holmes County has consistently been within the top 10 cases per capita.
“We want to test you, and we’re also offering free antibody testing which has not been offered before anywhere,” said Dobbs. “So at least not in Mississippi. So come by, get tested for coronavirus. There’s not much wait at all.”
Saturday testing continues at both locations from 8:30 a.m. through 3 p.m.