Hempstead County’s first COVID-19 drive-thru testing site opens


HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – The University of Arkansas Community College hosted the first drive-thru testing site for the people of Hempstead County to be screened for COIVD-19. If they qualified they went on to be tested.

Medical professionals said they expected a much higher turnout they believe the rain stopped many people from coming.

Hempstead county has at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19. At this drive-thru testing location, health care workers are doing a test that takes seconds to complete, but you have to qualify in order to be tested.

“We’ve had several turned away who did not meet the criteria. Part of the criteria is that they must have symptoms. They must have a cough or shortness of breath or fever. Or they must’ve been exposed. If they’ve been exposed to people who may have the virus then they do qualify for the test,” Dr. Dale Goins, County Health Officer.

Part of the qualification process includes having insurance. Dr. Goins said there’s no way to bill or take cash payments on site. However, if you can’t be tested you will leave with a better understanding of how to treat your symptoms at home.

“We’re giving out handouts. Several sheets that describe what the COVID virus is. What the symptoms are and how they can protect themselves. There’s also a sheet to tell them how to handle themselves if they actually have the virus,” said Dr. Goins.

It takes an average of 2-3 business days for the results. If you test positive for COVID-19 your primary care physician, county health officer, and the State Department of Health will also receive the results.

“I do expect it to get much- a higher concentration of infected people over the next three to four weeks and we just need to be prepared for that,” said Dr. Goins.

This was a one-day only event, but Texarkana will have a testing location on Monday at the Lansdell Family Clinic from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

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