ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones partnered with Platform Health Care Solutions to provide a mobile testing facility to serve the people of north St. Louis County, but the opening has been delayed due to high demand.
A press release from the city said the testing will take place Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Dellwood Recreation Center Parking lot, but on Monday, a release said the opening would be delayed.
The facility opened a hotline Monday for people to call if they wanted to be tested, but Platform Healthcare said they were overwhelmed by the demand from people throughout the state and in Illinois.
"Based on the number of calls it shows that there is an overwhelming need to add several locations in North County to help people become more aware and to help stop the spread of this virus," a press release from Platform Health Care Solutions said Monday. "We will continue to advocate making sure that happens. We are referring all potential patients in North County that fit the testing criteria to call 314-653-5000."
"We were prepared to test 100 patients per day," Mike Jones, the owner of the company, said. "But we received 400 phone calls in a two hour period. Our idea was to make sure that we have the first one done correctly and move on from there, but we have to now re-evaluate where we are with the calls going in."
"We don’t have a time frame as of yet," he said.
The overwhelming response just shows the overwhelming need for a test.
Bishop Elijah Hankerson, President of the St. Louis Metropolitan clergy coalition says after hearing concerns, said he was ready for the Dellwood location to open.
"This is a plea for help and a cry for help," he said. "I can understand being overwhelmed, but serve the people that you can serve do the best that you can, so we can at least save lives and keep people from dying."
Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones says he agrees with the decision to postpone.
"I think it’s best to postpone it and instead of push forward and have 500 people who up and how do you handle that."
"More testing sites are planned countywide," a spokesman for County Executive Sam Page said. "The challenge is not having enough testing kits at the federal level to disseminate locally. More tests means more testing sites. The stlcorona.com website would help give the public a comprehensive site to go to for information including list of numbers to call for testing."
Missouri testing guidelines were changed last week, making it possible for more people to qualify for a test.
Health care providers across the state are offering free, online coronavirus screening.
Other healthcare providers around our area have also set up testing facilities.
Missouri has more than 900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday.