‘Geaux Get Tested’ initiative extends dates for COVID-19 testing

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A sample is taken from a woman at a free COVID-19 testing site, provided by United Memorial Medical Center, Sunday, June 28, 2020, at the Mexican Consulate, in Houston. Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Texas continue to surge. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars again and scaled back restaurant dining on Friday as cases climbed to record levels after the state embarked on one of America’s fastest reopenings. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

BATON ROUGE, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – The “Geaux Get Tested” initiative will extend its hours of operation this weekend, according to East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

Testing at four of the locations listed below are running through July 19 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., according to Broome’s office.

The new initiative, part of the federal government’s effort to support communities that have been identified as “COVID-19 hotspots,” has added four testing sites to the Baton Rouge area. East Baton Rouge Parish is one of three locations in the country selected for surge testing.

Testing at these sites is open to people who live inside and outside of East Baton Rouge Parish. There is no cost to receive a test.

Since surge testing began on July 7, there have been 3,374 people tested for COVID-19 across all test sites. The goal is to test 5,000 people a day across the sites, and testing will run through July 18. 

The sites are located at:

  • LSU: Alex Box Stadium parking lot; Gourrier Ave, Baton Rouge, LA, 70820
  • Southern University: FG Clark parking lot; 801 Harding Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA, 70807
  • Cortana Mall: 9701 Cortana Pl, Baton Rouge, LA, 70815
  • Lamar Dixon Expo Center: 9039 S. St. Landry Avenue, Gonzales, LA, 70737
  • Mobile Testing Site: Healing Place Church; 19202 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA, 70810 (The Healing Place Church is operating through Saturday, July 18.

Testing at the sites is open to any Louisiana resident 5 years of age and older, according to Broome, though anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by their guardian. In order to be tested, people must provide a telephone number and an email address. A photo ID is not required.

The testing site will be conducted as a drive-thru test site. Once on site, those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars. There will be separate lines for those who have pre-registered and for those who must register on-site.

The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose on site while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site.

It is not required to pre-register for a test at the new sites but encouraged at: www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com. On-site registration will be accommodated, but it will take longer than registering in advance. Those who arrive pre-registered will be escorted to the express line.

HHS sites are using the laboratory eTrueNorth to process the test. According to eTrueNorth, it should take between 3 and 5 days for someone who is tested to get their results.

The testing effort is supported locally by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Louisiana National Guard and the Louisiana Department of Health.

David Gray | The News

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