First Stop tests homeless community in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - North Alabama will see another round of drive-through COVID-19 testing this week, with a special focus on the homeless community.

On Monday, Huntsville Hospital and Thrive Alabama will be at First Stop around 8 a.m to provide walk-up testing for homeless individuals.

Tracy Doughty, Huntsville Hospital’s Senior Vice President of Operations, says there’ll be a mobile sight set-up outside of First Stop where individuals with and without symptoms will be tested.

They expect to test over 100 individuals today, which is about how many showed up the previous two times.

The Salvation Army plans to send some folks over as well.

About a month ago, Huntsville Hospital and Thrive worked with the downtown rescue mission off of University Drive to test residents there. Luckily, there were not many positive cases in that population.

Doughty says the key is to have frequent testing in different areas to ensure no hotspots develop.

“We have been somewhere every week since middle March. So we have been doing this behind-the-scenes making sure that we don’t have a hot-spot in our community that we don’t know about,” Doughty said. “So we have been everywhere from Triana to North Huntsville, South Huntsville, our fever and flu clinic, Madison… So that has been our mission from day one... As much supplies we have we are going to use them and make sure again there is not a hotspot… no epicenter going around that we don’t know about.”

Huntsville Hospital, Thrive and First Stop will identify each individual and make sure their test results get back to them.

Masks will be available at First Stop for those being tested.

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