Statewide Weekend COVID-19 Testing Exceeded 11,000
NASHVILLE (April 20) — Today Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced more than 11,000 Tennesseans received free COVID-19 tests through the weekend efforts of Unified-Command Group to offer tests regardless of traditional symptoms. The Unified-Command Group is a joint partnership between the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Department of Military and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).
“Tennesseans across the state heeded the call of ‘when in doubt, get a test’ and we believe these efforts will be an important part of our overall strategy to reboot Tennessee’s economy,” said Gov. Lee. “While demand exceeded original projections, our Unified-Command group adapted quickly this weekend so that individuals who needed tests could receive them.”
Saturday turnout was the largest with more than 6,500 samples taken from 22 sites across all three grand divisions of the state. Tennessee Department of Health personnel and Soldiers and Airmen of the Tennessee National Guard operated 19 sites, four more than originally planned, to meet the testing demand.
In West Tennessee, the Weakley County Health Department held a mobile clinic and tests 109 persons in the three hours of operation on Saturday morning. Madison County tested 1,394 over two days. Other mobile sites were in Tipton and Hardin in rural West Tennessee.
Sunday testing turnout exceeded expectations with more than 4,600 tests collected across 11 sites. On both days, many Tennesseans drove to sites outside their county of residence to obtain a test from a neighboring county that operated a weekend site.
“Since Gov. Lee’s expanded testing initiative announcement last week, we continue to see an increase in the number of citizens who want to be tested whether it’s on a weekday or weekend and regardless of symptoms,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. “We thank our local partners for their help in making testing events a success and encourage citizens to utilize their local health departments for testing during the week.”
Expanded testing will continue for the next two weekends, April 25-26 and May 2-3. In addition to drive-through sites, all rural county health departments across the state offer free COVID-19 testing 5 days a week.