Jacksonville offers free COVID testing site as cases rise

Courtesy of CDC

Anna Gurganus, Correspondent

The City of Jacksonville will be offering a free COVID-19 testing site this Thursday, September 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until tests run out. The site is open to the public and will be held at the Jacksonville Community Center.

Chris Collins, the Fire Marshal of the Jacksonville Fire Department and coordinator of this event, has a few things to say about the necessity of the COVID-19 testing site. 

According to Collins, the idea originated when a council member noticed how overwhelmed the regular testing sites in Jacksonville have been recently. Several people have been needing the rapid tests for various reasons, and they are having a hard time getting them. 

“With the surge of COVID in Jacksonville, the burden of getting tested has lots of people concerned,” said Collins. “This will provide a means for them to get tested. Hopefully it will help decrease the number of cases and slow down this virus.”

Collins stated that it has been a team effort with several groups coming together to host this testing site for the community, and they even received a grant to help with funding.

All individuals who do participate will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. They are asked to park in the south side parking lot where the senior center is located and to enter through the rear entrance adjacent to the senior center. 

The site is providing self-administered tests and will have personnel available to give guidance on how to correctly administer the tests. 

Individuals will be contacted by the City of Jacksonville personnel for a negative result and personnel from UAB for a positive result. These results should take 1-2 days to come in. 

If you have any questions concerning the testing site, you can reach help at 256-435-7611.

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