State sets up 6 free COVID-19 mobile testing centers

Coronavirus
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The Alabama Department of Public Health has opened six mobile COVID-19 screening sites across the state. State officials say the screenings are free, even for people without health insurance.

Those screening centers are in Jefferson, Hale, Marengo, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Elmore counties.

According to Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH, people remain in their vehicles to limit exposure. Staff provides education about COVID-19 and a specimen is taken. The specimen is then taken to a state laboratory and processed. She says the turnaround for results is 24 to 72 hours.

Dr. Landers asks for people to bring their ID’s with them so the state can collect information about demographics. Landers says the testing is free and that includes those without insurance. In addition to that, the state will not charge insurance companies for testing.

ADPH has set up a hotline to call if you would like to visit – or want more information about one of the mobile COVID-19 testing sites. That number is 1-888-264-2256.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, State Health Officer Scott Harris told reporters that hundreds of people each day had been tested at mobile testing sites, but he could not provide an exact number.

“We expect to have another 5 or ten facilities up by the end of the week,” said Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer.

He said the state is facing challenges getting supplies like protective equipment and swabs for testing.

“We have a particularly acute issue in our state, as do most states right now, with obtaining specimen swabs. The federal government has sort of taken all orders of those that were to be shipped to states, and states no longer have access to those for a few days,” said Harris.

Right now, it’s unclear where future testing sites would be and if there would be a site in the Huntsville area.