SCOTTSBORO, Ala. - Jackson County opened up a drive-through screening and collection site for people who want to be tested for COVID-19 and the flu.
The opening comes as the numbers of the deadly and highly contagious disease grows higher and higher across the Tennessee Valley.
Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed the first person to die of COVID-19 in the state lived in Jackson County.
There was a steady flow of traffic going through the drive-through site set up at Scottsboro Junior High School.
“It really enables us to keep patients who may be exposed to the virus out of our ER, and out of the physician offices, so that they can drive through and limit the exposure on other people in those facilities, other patients as well as staff members,” said Jackson County Hospital Authority Marketing Director Wendi Raeuchle.
People who drove through Thursday must have a doctor’s order to be tested.
Nurses took a nasal swab in each nostril of the patients to test for both the flu and COVID-19.
“We just want to stress to people that if you are feeling that you're having symptoms to call your doctor. If you don't have a doctor, call an urgent care, or reach out to one of the rural health clinics and speak to someone so that you too may be tested if you need to be tested,” said Raeuchle.
Flu results come back within ten minutes. However, Raeuchle told WHNT News 19 that it takes a few days to hear back about COVID-19.
“It is running about 72 hours from the time you’re tested to the time you get results but those are varying because as you know the state has a lot of people doing tests right now,” added Raeuchle.
Northeast Alabama Health Services will have a drive-thru screening and collection site this weekend from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Scottsboro High School.
People do not need a doctor’s note for it, but one will be on-site to decide whether someone needs the test.