Free COVID-19 tests to be administered starting Saturday

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennesseans have the chance this weekend to get tested for COVID-19 even if they are not showing symptoms like a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

The results will be available in as little as 72 hours.

The tests will be handled by the Tennessee Department of Health nurses and National Guard medics.

“Regardless of where you live, within our region and our state, you will be tested if you come through any of the drive-through sites,” State Department of Health nurse consultant, Melissa Taylor said.

Taylor explained there will be minimal contact with individuals. The testing will be done while the individuals remain in their cars.

“It will be either a nasal or an oral swab,” she said. “We will not ask for an ID. We will ask for some basic demographic information: name address, phone number, birthdate.”

You also do not need proof of insurance to get tested.

There are two drive-through testing sites in Northeast Tennessee this weekend.

On Saturday, the drive-through testing site will operate from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Volunteer High School in Church Hill.

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On Sunday, the drive-through testing site will take place at East Tennessee State University’s parking lot near the former Earth Fare from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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The Sullivan County Regional Health Department will conduct drive-through testing on Monday, April 20 through May 1.

Testing will take place Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Any Sullivan County resident who wants to be tested should call (423) 279-2777.

Other locations across the state can be found here.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he had tapped the Unified-Command group to rapidly expand testing capacity all across Tenenssee.

Governor Lee said, “Our clinical understanding of COVID-19 is changing rapidly and we need every Tennessean who isn’t feeling well to understand that they have access to testing.”

He hopes this will allow Tennesseans to know if they have COVID-19 before returning to work.

Lee said, “This increased testing capacity will empower our citizens to make decisions around their health, as they consider how it is that they will get back into the workforce, as we take steps to open up the economy.”

Once your test has been administered, it will be sent to the laboratory.

A public health nurse will call you once your results are back, which would take between three to five days.

They will give you follow-up information and guidance on what to do, pending your results.

There is a regional information line that is set up for anyone who has questions. Anyone can call anytime between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday at (423) 979-4689.

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