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Toledo-Lucas County Health Department encourages COVID testing before Thanksgiving

The health department gave an update on COVID Tuesday morning.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is encouraging residents who plan to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving to get tested for COVID-19 as cases continue to trend upward.

Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said Tuesday it's important to understand the virus is still "everywhere" in the community. The health department is offering free at-home testing kits at multiple locations this week (information below).

"You can get six rapid tests per car," Zgodzinski said. "You heard early on about how important testing is. We didn't have the capability at one point in time, but we do now. You can make sure before you go to grandpa and grandma's you're not infectious. And if you are, stay home."

Zgodzinski said there are 239 people in Lucas County hospitals with COVID and 84 in the ICU. Of those 84, 50 are on ventilators. 

He said although the vaccine could be waning in some people, the vast majority of those in the hospital or suffering from serious complications are those who are unvaccinated. Hospitals in the county are not experiencing problems with bypass or overcrowding right now, but Zgodzinski said that can always change.

"I'm looking at admits, ICU use, but also the increase in cases in general," he said. "All of those things throw up a red flag for myself in where we're going with this. This delta variant is easily spread. It can run very quickly through a community."


Both the Wood County Health Department and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department are offering free at-home COVID-19 tests this week ahead of Thanksgiving.

The goal of the free tests is to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday when families are expected to gather in much greater numbers than they did in 2020.

Rapid antigen tests will be available at several locations in Lucas County. 

Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lucas County Rec Center

UAW Hall - 2300 Ashland Ave., Toledo. 

Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

UAW Hall

The free 15-minute tests are for at-home use and come with a free telehealth session provided by eMed. At-home tests usually run about $25-$30 at a pharmacy.

Free tests will be available in Wood County at a variety of locations including schools, public libraries, senior centers and at the Wood County Health Department.  You can call the Wood County Health Department at 419-352-8402 for more information.

The University of Toledo is also scheduling free antigen-based rapid tests for students, faculty, and staff ahead of the holiday which will provide results in about 30 minutes.

Individuals are encouraged to visit the University’s online scheduling portal to make an appointment.

If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should stay home, avoid family gatherings and isolate for 10 days.


Cases are continuing to show increases in the state of Ohio. As of Monday, the data show: 

  • 5,117 new vaccinations. This is likely only low because of Monday. Over the past two weeks, the only two days with fewer than 10,000 new vaccinations have been Mondays.
  • 187 new hospitalizations
  • 4,370 new cases. That's 443 more than last Monday. The 21-day average is up to 4,736.  This is the 16th consecutive day with the 21-day average increasing.   
  • 3,192 COVID-19 patients in the hospital.  That's up 17.8% in the last week, 36.6% in the last 2 weeks.
  • 864 COVID-19 patients in the ICU.  That's up 15.3% in the last week, 31.1% in the last 2 weeks.
  • 534 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.  That's up 14.8% in the last week, 17.3% in the last 2 weeks.
  • Positivity rate is up to 12.9%