University of Alabama offers COVID19 testing in Sumter County

Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 7:49 PM CDT
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LIVINGSTON, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama expanded efforts to provide rural healthcare to underserved communities.

Thursday, healthcare workers with the university traveled to Sumter County to test those without access in their home county.

Local residents like Johnny Coats took advantage of the testing site.

“I started coughing and then they said something about a fever and I started feeling hot,” Coats said.

Before Thursday, Coats said he would have had to travel to Demopolis or Mississippi to get tested for coronavirus.

“Cause I want to be on the safe side. I don’t want to wait till I die and I won’t know about it then,” Coats continued.

The University of Alabama Medical Center and Office for Research and Economic Development partnered with the City of Livingston, Alabama Power and the University of West Alabama to provide coronavirus screenings to people the people there.

“I would rather screen people and then be at ease, than have them wonder,” said John Higginbotham, Chair of the Department of Community Medicine and Population Health at the University of Alabama.

Alabama Power will help pay for the screenings for those who don’t have insurance or can’t afford to be tested.

People pull up in a car and are asked a series of questions. If health care workers feel they fit the criteria of someone who needs to be tested, they drive over to UA’s Rural Research and Operational Vehicle, or ROVR, and they’ll submit a nasal swab sample that will be tested.

"It’s bad enough we have to keep our distance from family and friends and we really want to know what’s going on with us,” Angel Vann, a woman waiting to be tested for coronavirus later said.

Test results are usually back within five days. The University of Alabama is offering COVID-19 testing at Jaycee Park in Livingston from 9am to noon Tuesday’s and Thursday’s or until supplies run out.

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