ADPH holds mobile COVID-19 testing at Rodeo Arena

Published 7:25 am Friday, May 8, 2020

LaFAYETTE — An Alabama Department of Public Health mobile testing site made a visit to the Chambers County Rodeo Arena on Thursday. People could drive up from the Highway 77 where they were asked a series of questions by ADPH representatives. If they were 65 years of age or older, a healthcare worker or someone with conditions that put them at higher risk (diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer or other conditions that weaken the immune system), they were directed to the sheltered picnic area and tested.

Those who did not fall into any of these categories were not tested. Those who were not in the high-risk categories but may have had mild symptoms of COVID-19 were recommended to isolate at home and to call 1-888-264-2256 if the symptoms worsen.

An ADPH mobile testing site previously visited the Chambers County Health Department in Valley to test Valley area residents.

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Lisa Jones, R.N., the lead nurse for Thursday’s visit, told The Valley Times-News that her team makes stops throughout the east-central Alabama area. The dates and times of those visits are listed on the alabamapublichealth.gov website.

The tri-county area of Chambers, Lee and Tallapoosa counties have been hard hit by the coronavirus.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has mobile testing teams making stops at every region of the state.

“We will go wherever the need is,” Jones said.

A national shortage of professional protective equipment, or PPE, makes the job riskier, but the teams have become adept at working with what they have. The testing teams are fully equipped with face shields, masks, gloves and gowns but they have to re-use them. “We frequently spray them down with alcohol,” Jones said.

The testing team received some courteous treatment from officers with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office. People coming in for testing were directed to the drive-in lane. “We think it’s really good for the public to do this,” Jones said. “They can do it without getting out of their cars.”

Sheriff Sid Lockhart was on site grilling hamburgers for the testing team.

The sheriff’s annual rodeo was originally scheduled at the site for the weekend of May 15-16. It has been rescheduled for July 24-25.