MEMPHIS, Tennessee —
Testing for COVID-19 is a big concern across the United States. While some are asking if there are enough tests for everybody, here in Shelby County you want to know who, where, and how to be tested.
UTHSC College of Medicine officials say they expect to have 150 people tested at drive-thru COVID-19 by the end of day Monday.
You won't see a stream of cars. It may not look like testing for a global pandemic is going on, and Dr. Scott Strome of UTHSC College of Medicine says that's by design.
"We want it to be calm. We don't want big lines. People are calling in. They have scheduled appointment times," Dr. Strome explained.
If you've heard about the drive-thru testing, you probably didn't know how you get an appointment or even if you can be tested. To qualify for testing here you must first contact your doctor or clinic. If your health professionals think you need testing, they'll contact UTHSC doctors to see if your symptoms are cause for testing. If needed, you'll get an appointment for a drive up test at no cost to you.
This type of testing may offer some convenience, but there's a minimum 90-hour turnaround time for results. The student volunteers doing the testing on Tiger Lane are working with staff at UTHSC in developing their own test to decrease the wait time for results and increase the numbers of people tested to a thousand a day.
"The goal is to try to get everybody who needs to be tested, tested. But we are prioritizing, initially first responders, but if folks need to be tested who are sick we are going to do our very best to test them," said Dr. Strome.