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Food pantry fundraiser meets goal

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Lebanon’s Funds for Food program has exceeded its original goal for helping local food pantries. At Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing, Lebanon Mayor Jared Carr said the program, a partnership with Lebanon Area Foundation, has raised more than $16,000, which will provide 64,000 meals. The original goal was $15,000. Also at the briefing, Laclede County Health Department Administrator Charla Baker talked about testing for the virus. She said the FDA had a question and answer page on its website, www.fda.gov, devoted to antibody testing for coronavirus. She said the tests included the PCR COVID-19 test, which detects the presence of the virus.

“It also indicates that a likely infection is occurring,” she said. “The other test, the seralogic test also will detect the presence of antibodies from previous exposure to the virus. However, it is not useful to determine current infection.” Baker said the testing criteria for the State Public Health Lab has been updated. “The state public health lab criteria has opened up for additional testing,” Baker said. “If individuals still do not meet the criteria for the public health lab you do have other options, commercial laboratories, university laboratories and private laboratories, but no matter your testing source, you must have a referral from your healthcare provider.” Those approved to be tested include symptomatic close contacts to a suspected COVID-19 patient with pending laboratory testing or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, symptomatic health care workers, law enforcement officers, fire department staff and other first responders, symptomatic residents of congregate living facilities who are at higher risk for poor outcomes, hospital patients who have COVID-19 compatible signs and symptoms, and symptomatic patients who are at high risk for negative health outcomes from COVID-19.

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