Governor: More than 11,000 free COVID-19 tests performed over the weekend


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Local drive thru testing sites will be offered again this weekend after 11,230 Tennesseans received free coronavirus screenings last the weekend, according to the governor.

This will be the second of three weekends that testing is offered for free at several sites statewide, regardless of traditional symptoms, through a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Department of Military and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

Williamson County EMA officials sent News 2 a photo of the long lines from the drive thru location at the Agricultural Center on Saturday. They are expecting similar crowds this weekend, but say the large location helps with moving people through the testing process faster.

“With large turnout and people wanting to be tested it’s just really important that we’re able to move people quickly and they’re not having to wait in line as long and the line doesn’t wind around multiple times which keeps us from having to do extra traffic control,” Hannah Bleam said. “It’s really easy to keep people in line because of all the parking spaces and indoor testing.”

Test results for samples collected at the weekend locations are typically available within 72 hours.

18 locations will be available this weekend across the state, including three in Middle Tennessee on Saturday. Click here for a full list of sites.

“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,” Governor Bill Lee said in a statement Monday.

He added, “while demand exceeded original projections, our Unified-Command group adapted quickly this weekend so that individuals who needed tests could receive them.”

Governor Lee said more than 6,500 samples were taken Saturday from 22 sites. 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.

More than 4,600 tests were conducted across 11 sites on Sunday, the governor added.

On both days, Lee said many Tennesseans drove to sites outside their county of residence to obtain a test from a neighboring county that operated a weekend site.

The department of health provided the following county-by-county breakdown showing the number of tests performed:

“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,” Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said. “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.”

All rural county health departments across the state also offer free COVID-19 testing five days a week.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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