Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Upswing in COVID testing as holidays approach

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BATON ROUGE - With COVID cases surging and the holidays fast approaching, Ochsner is offering free community testing around the capital area this week.

At Blackwater United Methodist in Baker, workers said tested 20 people within the first 45 minutes of opening their doors Monday. And it’s a trend they’ve seen elsewhere recently.

“The turnout recently has doubled and in some areas tripled,” testing supervisor Annette Martijn said.

Martijn says the demand for testing has soared as we make it through this third surge in cases.

“We just show up to where we normally go, the people have to come to us though, and they're certainly showing up within the past two weeks a lot more than they did let's say a month to two months ago," she said. "We were setting up and we were just waiting and waiting to do testing but now, when we get to our locations, a lot of times people are lined up, waiting for us to get there.".

Another reason for the increase is the approaching holidays. Though the CDC has urged people to only celebrate with the people in their household, it’s likely that many will still have traditional gatherings.

“We've had kids who are out of school. So maybe they're going to grandparents' house who are at a higher risk. So this is a good time to test before you get with family. It's recommended that you continue to social distance, but we all know a lot of families are going to get together.”

Testing continues Tuesday in Addis at the community center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at BREC Jefferson Hwy. Park, and then again Saturday at city hall in Denham Springs.


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