By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
NASHVILLE – To address the rising COVID-19 case rates in Tennessee’s rural counties, the state will open a drive through testing site in Fentress County on Saturday, Oct. 24. This will be one of three rural testing sites open statewide.
“We’ve seen an upward trend in COVID cases in rural Tennessee that are cause for concern,” said Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP, Tennessee Department of Health. “Bringing back weekend drive through testing helps with access to testing which will help combat COVID-19’s continued health threat. In addition to testing, Tennesseans need to take simple, yet impactful, precautions – wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing – to protect themselves.”
Saturday’s COVID-19 testing is free to those who want to receive a test. The testing location is as follows:
Fentress County Senior Citizens Center
308 South Main St.
Jamestown, TN 38556
The testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to noon and will remain open until all vehicles in line have received tests.
The testing events Saturday in Fentress and the two other testing locations, Grundy and Dyer counties, will begin an ongoing effort, through the fall, to bring weekend, drive through COVID-19 testing opportunities to rural Tennesseans. These efforts will include notification of results and contact with the health department to provide education on isolation and quarantine recommendations that are important parts of slowing the spread of the virus.
Tennessee National Guard medics and TDH personnel will be at each rural testing site to collect nasal swabs from those who voluntarily agree to a COVID-19 test.
Participants should receive their test results within 72 hours, depending on test processing volume at laboratories. Information will be provided to participants at the testing locations on what they can expect after being tested. This information is also available at: www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/TestedGuidance.pdf.
Governor Lee formed the UCG on March 23, 2020, bringing together the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Military and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to streamline coordination across key Tennessee departments to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.