Fewer crowds at COVID-19 testing facilities due in part to vaccines

Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 6:04 PM CST
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - We’re hearing a lot about vaccines in the news now, but what about testing for COVID-19? Health leaders worry vaccine clinics are pushing testing sites to the wayside.

When it comes to COVID-19...

“It’s still here. It’s present with or without the vaccination. We have to do our part as individuals to get tested to help stop the spread of the disease,” said Alberta Jackson, a nursing student at Drake State Community and Technical College.

Jackson is part of a group helping with free COVID-19 testing at a pop-up site at Blackburn Road Baptist Church in Athens. The process is simple. You drive up, register. No insurance is required. And you get your test results in 48 hours.

I decided if she’s going to tell me about free COVID testing, I should do it too.

I was able to do my own nasal swab and - it was pain free -- which is a big selling point. Testing sites once were lined up with people wanting to know if they’re positive for COVID-19. Now, health workers sit and wait.

“It’s a nationwide phenomenon where people are, for whatever reason, there’s not as much testing going on but it’s still important. I think that’s something we need to continue to get out in front of people,” said Lamont Dupree, North Alabama Area Health Education Center.

Dupree explains why he believes there’s hesitancy to get tested for COVID-19.

“The narrative has changed to vaccinations. And in spite of not as many people. It’s not top of mind as much. People are dealing with the whole pandemic fatigue and not wanting to think about it anymore,” said Dupree.

Dupree warns, don’t let your guard down. Get tested for COVID, regardless of more vaccines coming to our area.

“There’s still asymptomatic transmissions where you don’t have to have symptoms but still be able to transmit the virus.”

If you need a free COVID-19 test, here are some places you can get it done:

On Friday, you can get a test from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at “The Kitchen” located at13533 Hwy 157 in Moulton.

On Saturday, tests will be given from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Eva’s Consignment at 1690 Hwy 20 in Hillsboro in Lawrence County.

On Tuesday, March 9th from 1 pm- 4 p.m. at Houston and Robert Apartments in Athens.

Wednesday, March 10th from 3 pm - 6 pm at New Life Baptist Church at 2314 Hine Street South in Athens.

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