Drive-through virus testing site expected to serve 150 patients


A tent set up at the Fairgrounds is the site for drive-through coronavirus testing.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — By the end of Monday, more than 150 people will have been tested for COVID-19 at a testing center set up at the Fairgrounds, officials with University of Tennessee Health Science Center said.

The drive-through center opened over the weekend. It is operated by UTHSC, the Shelby County Health Department and the city of Memphis.

Testing is done by appointment only, and patients must be referred to the center by a doctor to a UTHSC call center.

Patients can stay in their car for the testing, which takes place in a series of tents. The center is mostly staffed by UTHSC medical students.

Currently samples are being sent to commercial labs for testing, but by later this week, officials anticipate being able to use UTHSC labs, which will decrease the turnaround time (for results).

The state health department on Monday confirmed 93 total cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County. Residents of Memphis, Shelby County and the suburban cities have been ordered to stay at home unless performing essential work or shopping.

Testing is also taking place at Christ Community Healthcare locations and some private facilities.

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