By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
COOKEVILLE – In scenes reminiscent of last fall’s flu shot clinics, health departments across the region have staff gathering in the parking lots and performing drive-thru coronavirus testing. Every county health department in the region will host this testing on Friday, March 27, and continuing as long as tests are available, during the same hours daily.
Testing will be from 1-3 p.m. at health departments in Cannon, Fentress, Pickett and Van Buren counties.
Testing will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at health departments in Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Jackson, Overton, Putnam, Smith and Warren counties. National Guard members will be assisting health department staff at these clinics.
Due to parking lot constraints, testing in Macon and White counties will be held away from the health department.
Macon County will be doing testing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the rear of the Macon County Junior High building.
White County will be doing testing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the White County Fairgrounds.
The health departments will be following CDC guidelines in performing assessments to determine who needs the test. The CDC has repeatedly emphasized that asymptomatic people do not need to be tested, and assessments will focus on patients with fever, cough and shortness of breath.
See related story: COVID-19: A local hospital’s perspective on the virus
As of 2 p.m. today, the TDOH reports that 14,909 people have been tested statewide. Of those, only 957, or 6.4%, tested positive for the virus. However, it is essential to note that only patients who have symptoms and meet the criteria of fever, cough, and shortness of breath are being tested.
Statewide, there are 76 people hospitalized for the infection, with no known hospitalizations within the U.C. region, and three deaths have resulted.
Anyone who has any of the symptoms of COVID-19 is advised to self-isolate for a 14-day period to avoid possible contamination of others.