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Where can I get a COVID test?

Birmingham AIDS Outreach is non-profit organization that offers free services for those who are...
Birmingham AIDS Outreach is non-profit organization that offers free services for those who are HIV positive. But the agency is also offering COVID testing for everyone at no cost and walk-ups are welcome.(WBRC)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 5:49 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Demand is high for COVID tests as cases of COVID continue to surge with the highly contagious Omicron variant.

But it’s getting harder to find a place to get a COVID test.

Birmingham AIDS Outreach is non-profit organization that offers free services for those who are HIV positive.

But the agency is also offering COVID testing for everyone at no cost and walk-ups are welcome.

Finding an at-home COVID test is like finding a needle in a haystack.

And you could be waiting hours, or even days if you’re trying to schedule an appointment at a pharmacy or an urgent care clinic.

But Birmingham AIDS Outreach is meeting the need of hundreds of patients who want to know if they COVID.

“We do testing Monday through Thursday from 11 to 5 and it’s no appointment. Just walk up,” said BAO Development Director, Kyle Pugh.

He said demand has been especially high for COVID tests in recent weeks.

The non-profit administered about 1,100 tests in December with around 800 happening in the week after Christmas.

883 COVID tests were done this week alone.

“And they are starting to run low, but we’ll offer them as long as we can if we can get our hands on more. Just anywhere we can get our hands on them because we feel like it’s a very important resource to have here in the city,” Pugh said.

And while the non-profit is offering the testing at no cost, the resource doesn’t come cheap. BAO is starting to run into the same issues many other testing facilities are facing.

“The price and the availability to do the 883 tests this week was almost $8,000 out of the agency’s pocket that we don’t get reimbursed for or any kind of financial support for. It’s just a service we’re offering to the community,” Pugh explained.

BAO has been offering the free COVID testing for about a year and a half now, and there is some concern now that some may be abusing the free service, so they may have to start putting parameters on who can get these tests.

But the agency is hoping the community will be mindful of the limited resource, and only opt into getting a test if they absolutely need one.

To find other COVID testing sites in Alabama, click here.

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