Health Department to offer limited COVID-19 tests

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Health Department will be providing limited testing for those exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.

COVID-19 tests will be done by appointments only on Wednesdays for the foreseeable future.

Office Manager Tamara Jackson said a doctor referral is preferred.

“If they think they have symptoms, they can call their doctor, and they can set up an appointment,” Jackson said.

Residents must be exhibiting coronavirus symptoms including fever and cough or shortness of breath. Residents must also be age 65 or older, be a healthcare worker or have a high-risk factor such as diabetes, asthma or other condition that weakens the immune system.

Those fitting the guidelines who do not have a primary care physician can call 205-755-1287 to set up an appointment. Jackson said residents would be asked some questions for paperwork purposes.

The test will be done by a nasal swab.

Jackson said the swabs “will be sent off to the lab for testing.”

Residents will be notified whether the test was positive or negative when the results become available.

Everyone who is tested at the site must agree to be quarantined at home for 14 days, regardless of the results of their test.

While this is the only designated testing site in Chilton County, local physicians can also coordinate COVID-19 tests for patients exhibiting symptoms through other avenues. Always call your physician’s office ahead of time to schedule an appointment if you have a fever or are dealing with other coronavirus symptoms, including coughing and shortness of breath.

According to the CDC, emergency warning signs indicating a person should seek immediate medical help can include “Trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.”

More information is available at on the CDC website.