Metro Nashville is planning to open as many as five drive-thru coronavirus testing centers across the city. They’ve formed a partnership with local health providers, including St. Thomas Health, Meharry Medical College, Nashville General Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. As of Thursday, officials had counted 75 cases in Davidson County.
During a tour of a soon-to-open Antioch site, at a former K-Mart parking lot on Murfreesboro Road, leaders told WPLN News that the goal is to lighten the load of hospitals and speed up the testing process.
“They’ll enter on the far end of the parking lot down here to the very first tent,” said Scott Harris, a coordinator with the Office of Emergency Management. “If they deem that it’s not necessary, then you’ll go out an exit … before you ever get to the testing area.”
Harris said the idea is for those who arrive to receive health screenings from medical providers wearing protective gear. And then — only if needed — they’ll drive through a series of white tents for a nasal or mouth swab.
“This is part of our greater community assessment system,” said Dr. Alex Jahangir, director of Nashville’s Coronavirus Response Taskforce. “What the system entails is really starting out with a hotline.”
Once the centers are up and running, Jahangir said there will be a phone number for residents to call for pre-screenings.
It’s unclear how many tests they’ll be able to perform at each site, but a spokesperson for OEM says results should be available within 48 hours. They’re working to open the locations as soon as possible.
There are a growing number of testing centers popping up across Middle Tennessee. Health officials are asking that residents not show up at sites unless instructed.