NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Wednesday, Governor Bill Lee’s Unified Command Group announced plans to open drive-through COVID-19 testing sites in three counties Saturday, October 24 to address rising case rates in the state’s rural areas.

“We’ve seen an upward trend in COVID cases in rural Tennessee that are cause for concern,” stated Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP, Tennessee Department of Health. “Bringing back weekend drive through testing helps with access to testing which will help combat COVID-19’s continued health threat. In addition to testing, Tennesseans need to take simple, yet impactful, precautions – wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing – to protect themselves.”

A release from the Unified Command Group detailed Saturday’s COVID-19 testing events. All three are free to those who want to receive a test.

Where are the testing locations?

Grundy County

  • Grundy County High School
  • 24970 TN-108, Coalmont, TN  37313

Fentress County

  • Fentress County Senior Citizens Center
  • 308 South Main St., Jamestown, TN 38556

Dyer County

  • Dyersburg High School
  • 125 US-51 Bypass, Dyersburg, TN  38024

What time can you get tested?

Testing sites will be open from 9 a.m. to noon CST and will remain open until all vehicles in line have received tests.

The Unified Command Group’s release stated the upcoming testing events on Oct. 24 will begin an ongoing effort, through the fall, to bring weekend, drive through COVID-19 testing opportunities to rural Tennesseans.

Efforts will include notification of results and contact with the health department to provide education on isolation and quarantine recommendations that are important parts of slowing the spread of the virus.

Tennessee National Guard medics and TDH personnel will be at each rural testing site to collect nasal swabs from those who voluntarily agree to a COVID-19 test.

When will you get your results back?

Participants should receive their test results within 72 hours, depending on test processing volume at laboratories. The information will be provided to participants at the testing locations on what they can expect after being tested. To learn more about what to expect after being tested, click here.

The Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt Medical University Center told News 2, earlier this month, they’ve seen a trend of COVID-19 cases growing in rural Tennessee.

“In these small communities, with a lot of covid activity, we’re seeing disease activity in the 100 to 200 new cases per 100 thousand people per day,” said Dr. David Aronoff. “Even though those counties don’t have as many people, those people are very effectively spreading COVID-19 from one person to another.”