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COVID-19 drive-thru testing underway at fairgrounds

WAPT Jackson logo WAPT Jackson 3/25/2020
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COVID-19 drive-thru testing began Tuesday at the Mississippi Fairgrounds in Jackson.

The C Spire UMMC COVID-19 Virtual Triage app allows users to undergo online screenings and schedule in-person testing appointments at the fairgrounds. Those without a smartphone may call 601-496-7200 for screening and to schedule an appointment to be tested.

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COVID-19 testing will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week until the outbreak subsides, UMMC officials said.

The site at the fairgrounds will be open only to those who have a scheduled appointment. Only people with symptoms, including fever and respiratory problems, will be given appointments to be tested.

There will be 128 testing appointments scheduled a day by an online clinician, health officials said. The clinician will be available for telehealth screenings from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Testing simulations were held Monday by UMMC personnel who were outfitted in personal protective equipment.

“Our patients will enter off High Street,” said UMMC Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Wilson. “We have clearly defined screening and welcoming process they will go through.”

There are four lanes of testing, Wilson said.

“We anticipate roughly 15 minutes for one set of tests at a time,” Wilson said.

Once the patient drives up for the test, someone will swab their nose to collect a sample. The sample will be placed in a plastic bag and closed, then it will be taken to a lab to be analyzed.

It will take 24 to 48 hours for the test results to be processed, health officials said.

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