BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - People who suspect they have COVID-19, lined up in their cars at a new testing site Tuesday in Etowah County.
The site is located in the parking lot of 12th Street Baptist Church, at the intersection of Highway 77 and Steele Station Road and ran by the Alabama and Etowah County Health Departments, with assistance from the Gadsden-Etowah County EMA.
The site was originally designed to only take people who signed up in advance, then received notes from their doctors. However, the health departments had more tests on hand than appointments that were made in advance.
So they allowed people to drive up without doctor’s notes, as long as they met symptom criteria such as fever or coughing, or are apart of high risk groups, such as people over the age of 65 or people suffering from diabetes.
"They did not seem apprehensive at all and I think that's because they're getting their testing done today. So, they'll get some results, and that will somewhat relieve the anxiety, I guess. It's the unknown most people have anxiety about, said Robbie Stubbs, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for ADPH's Northeast Region.
A screening tent determined if the drivers met the criteria. Drivers were asked to hold their licenses up to their car windows, then, when the workers stepped back six feet, were asked screening questions.
A label for their specimen container was placed under the driver's side windshield wiper, then the driver drove to the next tent where the swab was administered.
Etowah County deputies and Rainbow CIty Police provided security for the site. The Sheriff's Office also lent its morgue trailer to hold the testing specimens.
Test results are expected back in no more than four days. Stubbs says those who were tested can check their results online, and they’ll receive a phone call with the results.
Stubbs says the decision on whether to hold another drive-thru testing session in Etowah County or one of the Northeast Region’s ten other counties, will be made at a later time.