St. Louis County begins asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in South County


By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

Anyone who is asymptomatic can get a coronavirus test starting Monday at St. Louis County’s clinics in South County and North County.

County Executive Sam Page announced the new testing capacity at his briefing with reporters Wednesday morning and recommended that anyone who deals with the public get tested.

The new tests will be available for free starting Monday, June 15, at the South County Health Center in Sunset Hills, 4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd., and the John C. Murphy Health Center in Berkeley, 6121 N. Hanley Road #2003.

Residents can call 314-615-0574 to schedule a test. The new testing at the public health clinics will be capped at 150 tests a day. Tests are free regardless of the test-taker’s ability to pay.

Anyone with “public-facing jobs” or who has “frequent contact” with the public outside their household on a regular basis should be tested even if they don’t have any symptoms or haven’t had any known exposure to someone with COVID-19, Page said.

As examples, he said that workers from hospitals, nursing homes and grocery stores should be tested.

“If you are not worried about COVID-19, you should be tested to protect other people,” said Page, a medical doctor.

It’s the first time the county itself has had enough tests to offer them to asymptomatic people. Those residents and workers can transmit to others unknowingly, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

Frequent testing of people even without symptoms is also the way that the county is going to get back up and running with a “focus on containment” of the virus before those people spread it to others, Page said.

The new testing is part of the county’s initiative to buy new tests with its $173.5 million in coronavirus response funds from the federal government.

So far, St. Louis County’s testing capacity is up to 1,200 residents a day, with more than 54,000 total county residents tested, Page said.

Page also announced that the county’s health clinics will be back up and running seeing patients starting Monday, for primary care, dentistry, mental health, substance abuse treatment and all other programs. The clinics typically see more than 35,000 patients a year.

The clinics are also accepting new patients if someone has lost their job or insurance because of COVID-19.