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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Summit County Officials Conduct Second Mass Coronavirus Testing

photo of Chapel Hill Sears coronavirus testing
Summit County Public Health officials estimated that a mile of cars had snaked around the former Chapel Hill Sears store by the time coronavirus testing began on Saturday morning.

Summit County Public Health officials held their second coronavirus mass testing event over the weekend – with expanded capacity thanks to the Ohio National Guard.

Cars were lined up for at least a mile as testing began outside of Chapel Hill Mall on Saturday morning. It comes two days after the county was upgraded to Level 3 on the state's public health advisory system.

Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says that increase is coming from a number of sources.

“It’s not the long-term facilities anymore. It is far more of schools, it is the workplace, it is some social clubs – we have seen spikes, we’ve see bar outbreaks from people going out [and] socializing too close.”

Skoda adds that they were able to do two-thousand tests over two days thanks to the National Guard’s processing capabilities – an increase from 1,400 tests at a similar testing event in June. She hopes to hold more mass tests soon in the areas east and south of the mall, which have proven to be COVID hotspots.

Mayor Dan Horrigan agrees that more testing is needed, and says Akron has the space to hold mass tests, but needs more capacity to process the results.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.