Mobile COVID-19 testing set for Clay, Quitman counties

By MARC ROLPH,

JACKSON — Residents of Clay and Quitman counties and surrounding communities can be tested for COVID-19 next week as the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi State Department of Health continue efforts to stem virus transmission by setting up one-day, drive-through collection sites.

One-day collection sites were previously announced for this week in Chickasaw, Coahoma, Forrest, Monroe, Leake, Tallahatchie, Carroll, Jackson, Winston, Sharkey, Neshoba and George counties; and next week in Tishomingo, Panola, Lincoln and Union counties.

Testing hours at one-day collection sites were revised effective Monday, July 13. The new hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Anyone can be tested who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat; or who has a known or potential exposure to someone confirmed with the virus.

Mississippians who want to be tested must first complete a free screening from a UMMC clinician through an online questionnaire found at umc.edu/covidscreening. Or, they can call the UMMC Center for Telehealth at (601) 496-7200 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Anyone determined to need testing will be given an appointment date and time at the testing site most convenient.

Appointment-only testing has been offered since a daily testing site was established March 24 at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson. On June 1, that testing operation moved to the West Street Farmers Market at Woodrow Wilson Avenue in Jackson.  One-day sample collections are being offered at selected sites statewide.

Testing hours at the West Street Farmers Market are 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily except Sunday.

The newest testing sites for Wednesday, Aug. 5:

• Clay County: West Point Civic Center, 91 Sixth St., West Point

• Quitman County: Super-Valu parking lot (vacant store building), 1012 Martin Luther King Jr.  Drive, Marks

The previously announced testing sites for Saturday, Aug. 1:

• Neshoba County: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Pearl River Community Building, 118 Industrial Road, Choctaw

• George County: George County Multipurpose Facility, 9162 Old Highway 63 South, Lucedale

The previously announced testing sites for Monday, Aug. 3:

• Tishomingo County: Tishomingo County Fairgrounds, 108 County Road 187, Iuka

• Panola County: Panola Medical Center, 303 Medical Center Drive, Batesville

The previously announced testing sites for Tuesday, Aug. 4:

• Lincoln County: The Brookhaven Building, 1154 Beltline Drive, Brookhaven

• Union County: Union County Fairgrounds, 112 Fairgrounds Circle, New Albany

Those who believe they need to be tested must first complete a free screening from a UMMC clinician through an online questionnaire at umc.edu/covidscreening. Or, they can call the UMMC Center for Telehealth at (601) 496-7200 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Anyone determined to need testing will receive an appointment date and time at the testing site most convenient.

Thousands of people in Mississippi communities have taken advantage of the UMMC/MSDH drive-through collection sites. Those numbers include, as of the end of the day July 30, a total 10,185 people at 173 one-day testing sites statewide, plus another 17,391 at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds and West Street Farmers Market, for a total of 27,576 tested.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi National Guard are partnering with UMMC and MSDH to coordinate mobile testing sites. During drive-through testing, health care professionals will collect specimen samples via a nose swab. Those being tested will not exit their vehicle.