Twenty thousand COVID-19 tests still available in surge testing program
BATON ROUGE – There are still 20,000 free COVID-19 tests available for anyone to take advantage of.
That's out of a total of 60,000 provided by the federal government.
Originally, the goal of the program was to use all the tests in twelve days. But when that didn't happen, Mayor Broome announced the sites will remain open until supplies last.
“We've been very lucky that we've been allowed to keep them open until we exhaust all 60,000 tests,” said community testing coordinator, Kim Hood. “Sixty thousand tests over twelve days would have been a pretty big lift for a metropolitan area the size of Baton Rouge.”
There are a handful of testing locations. The latest site opened up downtown at the Capitol Park Welcome Center.
“We really intended it as a way for folks who live and work downtown be able to access testing as part of their workday. So either on their way into work or on their way home or on their lunch break. We’ve seen steady numbers go through there and it's been good,” said Hood.
So far, just over 40,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed. Hood expects the kits to run out during the first week of August.
“We just want to make the service available for as long as we can whether it's because someone is symptomatic and they need to come get a test with a five-day turnaround, or because they are just concerned about their COVID status and want to know. Some are getting ready to go back to school, so we're just very happy that we're able to make it available,” said Hood.
The testing site locations include:
-Healing Place Church (closed Sundays)
-LSU (Alex Box Stadium)
-Southern University (FG Clark)
-Lamar Dixon Expo
- Capitol Park Welcome Center
The Mayor's office says though residents can simply show up at any of the above sites for a test, it is encouraged that all who are able pre-register at www.DoINeedaCovid19Test.com
At the testing sites, residents should be prepared to give medical personnel their phone number and email address.