Mad. Co. Health Dept. changes COVID testing venue to fairgrounds, health director said – Citizen Times

Mad Co Health Dept Changes Covid Testing Venue To Fairgrounds Health Director Said Citizen Times
Mad Co Health Dept Changes Covid Testing Venue To Fairgrounds Health Director Said Citizen Times

MARSHALL – Amidst a continuing surge in COVID cases in Madison County, the county health department has been forced to move its COVID testing site to a bigger, more open venue. 

Starting Aug. 16, the Madison County Health Department began operating the county fairgrounds as its testing site,  moving from its previous testing location at the health department, County Health Director Tammy Cody said. 

“Several from our team including myself spent (Aug. 16) getting the new site going and providing tests,” Cody said several members of the health department team, including herself, spent Aug. 16 getting the new site up and running, as well as providing tests for residents.”

According to Cody, the continued rise in cases, as well as a partnership with the private company LHI are what caused the health department to change venues. 

“There has been a significant demand for testing,” Cody said. “Our limited staff could not continue to provide 100 tests per day, as well as contact trace, provide vaccines, operate the clinic and meet all our other essential tasks.

“The state entered back into a contract with LHI, the team that was here before to provide COVID testing. LHI was previously at A-B Tech, and we truly appreciate their partnership. With school starting back, there wasn’t space so we moved to the fairgrounds.”


As of Aug. 18, the state’s positivity rate was 13.5%. 

According to Cody though, the positivity rate is even higher in the county.

In an update issued to officials on Aug. 16, on that same day – the first day in which the health department began testing at the fairgrounds again – eight of the 22 (36%) rapid tests performed came back positive. 

Furthermore, nine residents were currently hospitalized with COVID as of Aug. 18. 

For the week of Aug. 6, 800 of the 866 (92.3%) inpatient beds were full at Mission Hospital and Asheville Surgery Center. Additionally, 120 of the 130 (92.6%) ICU beds were used also. 

As of Aug. 16, there were 268 lab-confirmed positive cases throughout the county since July 15, according to the health department update.

Cases among children 

On Aug. 16, Madison County Schools students returned to classrooms for the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

According to Cody’s Aug. 18 update, 55 school-aged children had tested positive since July 15. 

As of Aug. 18, there were 36 school-aged children in quarantine, with four of those children testing positive on Aug. 18, Cody said. 

Per the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) COVID dashboard, 59% of the adult population was fully vaccinated as of Aug. 18. 

Madison County is lagging slightly behind the state average, as 55% of adult residents are fully vaccinated. 

The Madison County Board of Education met Aug. 23 to discuss the latest COVID metrics.