Jefferson County preparing to ramp up COVID-19 testing availability

Bracing for surge in test requests

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health officials are getting ready for a large increase in demand for COVID-19 tests as some schools and colleges resume.

The Jefferson County Department of Health has been working on a plan to handle it.

Many colleges are requiring testing to come back to class, and of course as soon as kids go back, if they wake up with a fever, parents are likely to seek testing.

Drive-through testing and local urgent cares are already seeing more people coming for COVID-19 testing, with more than 100,000 tests reported in Jefferson County alone since March and almost 27,000 coming in just the past two weeks.

With thousands of college students now required to take COVID-19 tests to return to campus, the Jefferson County Department of Health says they have to increase the number of sites to take tests to accommodate the load.

“We are really worried about that, I have had two meetings recently with two separate city councils about that very issue with schools coming back, increased demand, people needing to return to work, so I think you will see new testing sites pop up very soon,” said Dr. David Hicks with the Alabama Department of Public Health

He also says to look out for new guidance regarding testing in the coming days aimed at cutting down on redundant tests.

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