Surge testing for COVID-19 coming to an end

Doctors asking more people to get tested for COVID

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The federal government’s surge testing wrapped up at two major sites on Friday. The testing was happening at the Riverchase Galleria and the Cathedral of the Cross Church in Center Point. A lot of people took advantage of the free testing, but not as many as doctors wanted.

Testing started at the Galleria two weeks ago. A total of more than 6,300 took part at the various testing sites in Jefferson County. That’s about 200 to 250 a day which is way below what local health officials wanted to see.

All of the sites had the capacity to handle up to 1,500 a day. Dr. Mark Wilson previously said that was too high of a goal.

Jefferson County Dr. David Hicks said the demand for testing has been dropping, but he sees a continued need for testing. That’s one of the major ways the county can find out who was exposed. Hicks is urging people to be careful over the Labor Day Weekend and not to give up those safety tips. Numbers of COVID-19 cases have dropped recently. As for the future, Dr. Hicks said federal money can be used to get testing kits into Alabama schools.

”You will want to know quickly what their status is. Are they positive or negative. So they can be properly triaged. So they can decide do they need to go back to school or stay out. So there is going to be a need for quick testing for all individuals in school,” Hicks said.

Again - Dr. Hicks is urging caution over the Labor Day Holiday. Here is a list of sites still open in Alabama, at least until next week:

Hinkle Pharmacy Health Mart, 1090 9th Ave SW #110, Bessemer, Thursday, September 3, Tuesday, September 8, and Wednesday, September 9: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hokes Bluff Shoppe, 5702 U.S. Highway 278E, Hokes Bluff, Thursday, September 3 and Tuesday, September 8: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Super Bee Health Mart Pharmacy, 3354 Rainbow Drive, Rainbow City, Thursday, September 3, Tuesday, September 8, and Wednesday, September 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Alabama Public Health Department does not believe there will be an extension of testing sites.

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