Jefferson County health leaders committed to keeping Legion Field, other COVID-19 testing sites open

Jefferson County health leaders committed to keeping Legion Field, other COVID-19 testing sites open
Ahead of Christmas, there's a big demand for COVID-19 testing around Jefferson County. (Source: WBRC)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Doctors say we need COVID-19 testing now more than ever, but what’s going to happen to Jefferson County’s largest testing site?

Ahead of Christmas, there’s a big demand for COVID-19 testing around Jefferson County.

“Not quite sure is it because they’re trying to prep for Christmas or is it because they know that things are getting worse in the community and they just want to know,” Dr. David Hicks, Deputy Heath Officer at the Jefferson County Health Department said.

With COVID-19 cases soaring again in Alabama, health officials say testing is needed now more than ever.

“Our positivity rate is still way to high and the way you get it down is to test more and identify more,” Hicks said.

Just before Thanksgiving, we told you the future of the Legion Field testing site is up in the air because CARE’s Act money for it is running out. Hicks says at the beginning of the pandemic, before CAREs Act money was available, the health department dipped into its reserve funds to keep things like testing sites open.

Hicks tells us the department has done well fiscally over the years to build up reserves for a rainy day. Now, they may have to do it again if Congress doesn’t act.

“We are committed to making sure even with our own funds that we have…to make sure that community testing site continues on,” Hicks said.

JCDH is also financially supports a testing site at the old salvation army location in Birmingham where they isolate and triage people, if necessary, who are trying to get into a homeless shelter.

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