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Drive-thru COVID-19 testing: What you need to know before you go

Only 250 tests will be done at each site daily. Tests will be administered on a first-come first-served basis every day.

NEW ORLEANS — UPDATE: New Orleans consolidates to one COVID-19 drive-thru testing site

original story below

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Drive-through testing in Jefferson and Orleans parishes is now open to the public, after initially being limited to medical workers and first responders.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting tested at one of the sites.

Who can get tested?

Testing is available to anyone over the age of 18 showing symptoms of COVID-19. Patients will be tested if they:

  • Have a fever
  • Previously had a fever and now have a cough and shortness of breath

Only 250 tests will be done at each site daily. Tests will be administered on a first-come-first-served basis every day.

“Unfortunately, because the test kits are so limited and laboratories are so strained to get tests done it’s important for us to leave the test kits for people who are experiencing symptoms,” Sarah Babcock, the director of policy and emergency preparedness for the New Orleans health department, said.

What if I don't meet the criteria?

People who come in, but do not meet the requirements for testing will be given a handout with the locations of other testing facilities and information on staying at home to slow the spread of the virus.

"If someone comes through and they do not have symptoms we’re looking for they will be redirected out of the testing area and given information to stay at home or other testing locations or instructed to call their primary care provider," Babcock said.

Locations

  • University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena Parking Lot 
    6801 Franklin Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70148
  • Jefferson Parish - Alario Center, Westwego
    2000 Segnette Blvd, Westwego, LA 70094

Test sites open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., or after 250 tests have been done.

RELATED: New Orleans, JP drive-thru testing expanded to public with fever, symptoms

Procedure

Upon arrival at a site, individuals will be required to remain in their vehicles and to provide an ID to prove they are over the age of 18 and a Louisiana resident.

Testing is free and no insurance is required.

Personnel in full medical protective gear will check the individual’s temperature with a no-touch thermometer and insert a nasal swab to obtain the necessary sample. Test results will be given by phone within three to four business days. See fact sheet on testing procedures.   

For the safety of the testing personnel, the drive-through sites will not be able to accommodate walk-up individuals. Individuals must arrive in a vehicle. 

Babcock noted that they are working on a plan to accommodate people on foot, but nothing is in place yet.

Testing is made possible by a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The drive-through testing sites are operated by the City of New Orleans, with assistance from the Louisiana National Guard, the Medical Reserve Corps, and the U.S. Public Health Service.

RELATED: Track COVID-19: Louisiana Coronavirus Outbreak Map

RELATED: Louisiana Coronavirus Updates: drive-thru testing begins for those with symptoms, 837 cases confirmed

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