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Drive-thru COVID-19 testing set for Thursday at Adams County Safe Room

NATCHEZ — The state health officials will be conducting a one-day drive through testing site for COVID-19 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday at the Adams County Safe Room on Liberty Road.

The test is facilitated by the University of Mississippi Medical Center in conjunction with the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi National Guard and is conducted daily across various locations in the state, UMMC officials said.

Other testing locations this week are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. today in Vicksburg and Greenwood and then from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday in Meridian and daily at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson.

The appointment-only testing is free of charge and is only open to those who have been screened as having a high risk of infection and are having symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Anyone experiencing symptoms who believes they should be tested must first go through a free screening from a UMMC clinician through the C Spire Health UMMC Virtual COVID-19 Triage smartphone app.

Those without a smartphone can complete their screening by calling 601-496-7200.

During the screening, a medical provider will determine the patient’s level of risk for having COVID-19 based on their symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat. Anyone found to be high-risk for having coronavirus would receive an appointment to be tested at a collection site closest to them.

Same day appointments are possible but only a limited number of specimens can be collected at each testing location, UMMC officials said. Individuals should try to complete their health screening as soon as they display symptoms and may choose their preferred testing location if they are cleared for an appointment.

At the testing site, patients would give a specimen sample via a nose swab without exiting their vehicle.

Providers wearing protective gear will come to the vehicle window to retrieve specimens for testing to be performed at the MSDH Public Health Lab. Those being tested are not permitted to leave their vehicle.
UMMC will notify those tested of the results and give further instructions.

Appointments for testing will only be given to people who are symptomatic for COVID-19 and are determined to need testing. Anyone not experiencing symptoms is asked not to use the app or call.

Anyone determined to be at low risk for infection won’t receive an appointment for collection of specimens. Instead, they will receive instructions on social distancing, home isolation and self-care and would be told to call back if symptoms worsen.