NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Starting this weekend, the Metro Nashville Public Health Department is expanding the options for people to get tested for COVID-19 here in the Nashville area.
The demand for tests has been high. On Monday, almost 1,300 people were tested at the Metro assessment centers and the number was close to 1,600 on Tuesday. Keep in mind these numbers do not include the number of people who are using doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies or at-home COVID-19 tests.
“Those rapid at-home tests are pretty accurate, especially in someone who is symptomatic. They range about 90% in terms of accuracy,” said ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton. “If you get a positive, you should believe it’s a true positive isolate, and then of course, if you want to confirm with a PCR that’s usually a good idea, the issue with testing is that rapid test results are largely not being reported to health departments.”
Metro is making its assessment centers more accessible. Starting this weekend, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations will be offered at the drive-thru site near 28th and Charlotte on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. That site has had long lines of people who went there to see if they’ve contracted COVID-19.
Vaccinations are still being encouraged right now as well. About 150 people got a COVID vaccine at the Metro assessment centers so far this week, and 65% of people have now gotten at least one dose of a COVID vaccine in Davidson County, according to the Tennessee Health Department.
“‘Breakthrough infections’ are happening very frequently with Omicron. Worth reminding that vaccines do not create force fields to keep virus out of our bodies. They prepare immune system to limit virus replication & thereby limit disease. Vaccines are working exactly as expected,” Meharry Medical College CEO Dr. James Hildreth tweeted Tuesday.
Dr. Ashton echoed the sentiment.
“The goal of a booster is still primarily to keep people from severe illness, keep people out of the hospital and save lives and largely the vaccines and boosters are still doing that and holding up even against Omicron and Delta,” Dr. Ashton said. “Of course, it is frustrating when we have heard for 2 years such a push for vaccination and boosting and we are still seeing record case numbers and that’s why I think we need to shift our thinking and focus on the hospitalizations and deaths.”
CLICK HERE for more information about getting vaccinated in Davidson County.