Three East Alabama doctor’s offices test for COVID-19 using ‘curbside waiting room’

Testing for COVID-19 in East Ala.

GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - Three doctor’s offices in East Alabama have started testing patients for COVID-19.

Instead of a drive-thru setup, they’ve operated a curbside waiting room.

Southern Immediate Care began testing today in their offices in Gadsden, Anniston and Heflin.

People usually make an appointment and then call from their cell phones when they arrive. Patients take care of items like paperwork while remaining in their parked cars. When an examination room is available, they’re summoned inside.

The idea, says Dr. Jason Junkins, is to maintain a curbside waiting room. This is so people can social distance themselves from each other, especially if they’re showing symptoms.

“We’ve seen several people today that wanted to be tested, but they also had either cough or fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, and we’ve actually been quite busy with people today with that. Of course, this time of year, a lot of people had that anyway,” said Junkins.

The tests are sent to a private lab.

Testing each day begins at eight a.m. It lasts until six p.m. in Gadsden and Heflin and until ten p.m. in Anniston.

Junkins says it will continue until the pandemic has ebbed.

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