MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Public Health announced Wednesday the launch of a new website dedicated toward helping the public locate free COVID-19 testing sites.
The website, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a part of a program that focuses on communities that may be at a greater risk of being impacted by the pandemic.
The goal is to help increase community access to testing, especially in places that are considered high-risk, like many counties in Alabama. According to the ADPH, the state is reporting just under 1,000 cases a day.
The COVID-19 tests offered at participating locations will be free and may include laboratory-based nucleic acid amplification tests, including polymerase chain reaction tests and rapid antigen point-of-care testing.
Results of those tests will typically be provided within 24 to 48 hours.
The tests are billed to third-party payers, such as Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurers. People without health insurance do not have to pay for COVID-19 testing at these locations.
Dr. Wes Stubblefield said it’s a great resource to utilize before the nationwide public health emergency declaration ends in May.
“People will start to notice that access to treatments and testing may be associated with co-pays, depending on your insurance,” Stubblefield said. “There are different types of insurance –Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Depending on how long the government’s pre-purchased inventory lasts.”
Dr. Stubblefield said free testing could still be available after the public health emergency ends, depending on funding. Stubblefield said in the meantime free resources are still available.