5,000 Free COVID-19 Tests Available Per Day
Baton Rouge, La. – Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the opening of several testing sites in East Baton Rouge Parish beginning Tuesday, July 7 through the "Geaux Get Tested" initiative.
The Mayor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP) and Healthy BR will work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Louisiana National Guard and the Louisiana Department of Health to test up to 5,000 people each day across all sites.
The "Geaux Get Tested" sites are part of the HHS’s effort to support communities that have been identified as COVID-19 hotspots, or communities where there has been a recent and intense level of new cases and hospitalizations related to the ongoing outbreak.
“This rapid increase in testing is one of the most important things we can do right now to protect public health and our local economy. Knowing if you have COVID-19 and what to do to prevent further spreading the virus will save lives and lessen the economic impact in our community,” said Mayor Broome. “I implore our residents to take advantage of these testing sites, especially if they have symptoms or were exposed to COVID-19.”
These sites are being stood up to help stamp out community spread. Currently, there are dramatic increases of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. The largest increases in cases continues to be in the 18 to 29 age group. There are also upticks in young people under 18 and in people aged 30 to 39.
These increases are tied to increased movement as more businesses resume operations with inconsistent adherence by the public to recommended precautions like social distancing and masking. According to LDH, there have been 19 outbreaks associated with bars across the state.
The hours and dates of operation for all sites are: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., seven days a week. Test sites will open for 12 days, from Tuesday, July 7 to Saturday, July 18 (unless otherwise noted).
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)
· Mobile Testing Site: Healing Place Church (19202 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70810)
· The Healing Place Church site will operate Wednesday, July 8 – Saturday, July 18, with the exception of Sunday, July 12
· Lamar Dixon Expo Center (9039 S St Landry Ave, Gonzales, LA 70737)
· This site is supported by LDH, GOHSEP, and HHS.
*eTrueNorth will process the tests. Results should take 3-5 days. More details are below.
It is not required to pre-register for a test but encouraged at: www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com. On-site registration will be accommodated, but it will take longer than arriving with your pre-registration complete and your QR Code either on your phone or printed from the registration site. Those who arrive pre-registered will be escorted to the express line.
In order to be tested at a HHS test site, people must provide:
· Telephone number
· Email address
· An ID is NOT required
· Scan this QR code to access the eTrueNorth portal (where you can find your test results)
These 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.
• Test results will be provided by email notification (required to log back into website to view).
• If someone tests positive, they will also be contacted by phone.
• Test results will also be posted in the eTrueNorth patient portal.
There is not a phone number to call for results. Results will only be provided by email and in the portal.
If you test positive for COVID-19, or if you were in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by contact tracers calling from (877) 766-2130—save this number in your phone. During that call, you can be connected to resources that are available to help you safely quarantine.
LDH strongly urges you to self-quarantine while you wait for your test result. Testing does not replace quarantining. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should self-quarantine at your home and away from others, including your family if possible, for 14 days since the date of exposure. Even if your test comes back negative prior to end of the quarantine period, you still need to remain quarantined for the full 14 days. This is because the incubation period for the virus can be up to 14 days and unless you were tested on the 14th day from your exposure, a negative test earlier in the quarantine period does not mean you are not infected.
Who should be tested?
• Tests are available to people who have COVID-19 symptoms such as: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
• Individuals who do not have symptoms but who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 can also be tested. However, such a person should wait a few days to be tested from when they were exposed. This is because the time between when a person was exposed and when the test would be positive can vary from 4-14 days.
• Testing is open to everyone. In addition, anyone who is worried about possibly having the virus can be tested. You do not need to be a resident of East Baton Rouge.
Test site details
• The sites are open seven days per week. The schedule starting July 7 will be daily from 8 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m.
• Testing is for open for any Louisiana resident 5 years of age and older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by their guardian.
• 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.