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New COVID-19 testing site opens Monday in St. Louis County

The site at the North County Recreation Complex will expand testing capacity by 1,000 tests per week.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opened Monday in north St. Louis County.

The site, located at the North County Recreation Complex at 2577 Redman Avenue, will increase the county's testing capacity by 1,000 tests per week. The county is currently averaging 2,000 tests per week.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 10, the site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tests are by appointment only and can be made at revivestl.com. They will be administered to residents in their vehicles.

Unlike the county's other three testing sites which use nose swabs, the new site will use saliva tests. Results will be ready within 24-48 hours.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page held a press conference Monday morning from the new testing site, which he said will create a 50% increase in the county's testing capacity. The county hopes to increase the site's capacity even more, from 200 tests per day to 350 tests per day, Page said.

"We opened the testing site here in this part of north county because this is one of the places that has been hit hardest," Page said, citing the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the area. "St. Louis County continues its aggressive outreach in targeted ZIP codes to try and address gaps in vaccinations and to get more people tested."

More than 1,200 people are currently hospitalized within the four health systems that make up the St. Louis Pandemic Task Force, Page said. The Task Force has predicted that hospitalizations could double within a couple of weeks.

Watch the full briefing below:

Officials reminded people to not schedule more than one test a week and to be responsible to help out with the demand.

“For those who have already been tested and tested positive for COVID, a second test is not necessary or recommended. Just start your isolation and follow the CDC guidelines,” Page said.

For those who have tested positive with an at-home test kit, there is no requirement to report those results to the county. For those who would still like to, they can email them to dph.submission@stlouiscountymo.gov or call 314-615-2660.

Page also announced that all of the county's Department of Public Health clinics will offer Pfizer booster shots for ages 12-15, following the CDC's decision on Wednesday to approve them for that age group. The boosters are available via walkup or appointment.

St. Louis County has multiple county-sponsored sites that offer drive-thru testing and require appointments.

North County Recreation Complex
Monday-Friday (beginning Jan. 10), 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
2577 Redman Ave,
St. Louis County, MO 63136
*Appointment required

John C. Murphy Health Center
Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Fridays, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
6121 N. Hanley Road No. 2003
St. Louis County, MO 63134
*Appointment required

South County Health Center
Mondays-Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Fridays, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
4580 S. Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis County, MO 63127
*Appointment required

North Central Health Center
Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Fridays, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
4000 Jennings Station Road
St. Louis County, MO 63121
*Appointment required

The county also has separate appointments available for those requiring a test for international travel. Click here for more information on all testing options.

RELATED: List: COVID testing sites in the St. Louis area

The announcement comes as area hospitals ask people to avoid coming to emergency departments to get tested.

"It gets in the way of us seeing the patients who are truly sick. People who have heart attacks. People who are having a stroke. It just overwhelms us," Dr. Benjamin Leacock, the ER medication director at SSM St. Joseph Hospital-St. Charles said.

Other hospitals share the same sentiment.

"The backup just kind of moves upstream and downstream and clogs us all up,” said Dr. Robert Poirier, clinical director of the Barnes-Jewish emergency department.

RELATED: St. Louis emergency room staff urges alternatives for COVID-19 testing, mild-symptom patients

Dr. Kendra Holmes with Affinia Healthcare, who tested the first person in St. Louis City at the beginning of the pandemic, knows the COVID testing line all too well.

"It's come a long way but it's full circle. Before it was just like well you know I had a contact with someone but I'm seeing a lot of people that are really actively symptomatic in line," Holmes added.

With the intense demand, Dr. Homes was glad to hear about the new testing site popping up where she believes it is needed most.

She added that it is beneficial to have a little flexibility too which is why both walk-in and appointments are available in city locations.

"We also want to accommodate for that mom or for that individual who. They’ve got two hours. This is the only time I can go and get tested. That's still very important."