Northeast Alabama neighbors head to Etowah County for drive-thru testing

Local News

ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Around 200 COVID-19 drive-thru tests were available for neighbors in northeast Alabama Wednesday.

Testing took place in the 12th Street Baptist Church parking lot in Rainbow City and lasted for several hours.

Health leaders told CBS 42 that Etowah County was a good location because of its population and proximity to smaller counties where testing is limited.

“The more testing we have the more positives we have, and that is why the numbers are going up so quickly is because there is so much more testing available,” said Robbie Stubbs, the Director of Emergency Preparedness for the Northeastern Public Health District.

Stubbs said her district includes 11 counties. Wednesday, several heathcare workers from across the area helped with testing. Staff members kept at least 6 feet away from patients as they described symptoms through their window before being tested.

“We have a limited number of tests, so we want to do as many as we can today. It would be good if we ran out,” said Stubbs.

Those administering the swab tests were dressed in personal protective equipment for safety.

“Where the testing occurs, they are required to have the shield and the mask and the gloves and the gown, because they are coming in contact with secretions,” said Stubbs.

Rainbow City Mayor Terry John Calhoun said the location provided an option for neighbors who may not have otherwise been tested.

“It’s certainly a service to our community and especially the older people in our community that don’t have to go out a long ways to be tested,” said Calhoun.
Crews had equipment on scene to properly preserve specimens for state health officials to review.

Patients will be contacted with test results and to learn about others who may have been exposed.

“We have investigators that call them and ask all the information and get all the contacts, we call them 6-15 ers that have been within six feet of them for 15 minutes or longer. Then the contacts have to be contacted to do an investigation on them to see if they are sick and tell them to isolate and then the next step is quarantine orders,” said Stubbs.

The turnaround time for test results will vary, but all patients from Wednesday will be called with an update.


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