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The Hamilton County Health Department's free drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on Bonnyshire Drive began accepting patients without an appointment on Monday.

Department Administrator Becky Barnes said during a media briefing that the site has the capacity to swab up to 125 people per day.

"Our primary focus at this testing site is for people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and people who are close contacts with people who have tested positive. However, we will not turn people away. ... That is, until we meet our capacity of 125," Barnes said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded the list of COVID-19 symptoms to include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Previously, it had listed just three symptoms: fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Barnes also cautioned people to continue wearing masks, practicing good hygiene and safe distancing as businesses reopen around the county.

"Reopening doesn't mean that we are free and clear of the virus, it is still here and has the potential to rapidly escalate if we don't take the appropriate measures," she said in a news release.

Hamilton County has confirmed 19 additional COVID-19 cases since Friday, Barnes said. That brings the county's total to 182 confirmed cases, with 138 having recovered, and 13 deaths due to the coronavirus.

The county has 6,529 negative test results to date, but that number is a provisional one and could include some residents from other counties, Barnes said.

For the second weekend in a row, the department partnered with the National Guard to perform free community testing along Riverfront Parkway, testing 1,168 people over the weekend.

Barnes said results from this weekend's testing are starting to come in but are not included in the latest total.

The Bonnyshire Drive testing site is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and more information is available by calling 423-209-8383.

Testing is also available through the health department's partner site at Clinica Medicos.

Contact Elizabeth Fite at efite@timesfreepress.com

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