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U.S. Surgeon General In Jefferson County As Surge Testing Site Opens

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By Barnett Wright
The Birmingham Times

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams along with state and local health officials on Friday toured a newly opened surge testing site in the Sears parking lot of the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover Ala.

The Galleria is one of two locations within Jefferson County – the other, beginning on Monday, is at Cathedral of the Cross, 1480 Center Point Parkway in Center Point — equipped to test 1,500 people per day through September 5. Health officials project about 60,000 total tests over the two weeks which are free and are self-administered nasal swabs that are considered painless.

The results are expected to be emailed to people in about three to five days, but that time may be a little less due to better turnaround times across the country.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force offered the testing surge resource because the Greater Birmingham metropolitan area was considered a hot spot for COVID-19.

However, Adams said indicators were showing that Alabama was headed in the right direction when it came to reducing the number of positive cases because the state is taking basic health measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

Even though the positivity rate is coming down, along with case incidents and the hospitalization rate, Adams said now is not the time to be complacent.

Speaking in a state obsessed by college football, he talked in sports terms.

“I know you want to see Auburn and Alabama play (football) this fall. They’ve been able to do it because of public health measures. They don’t have a vaccine. There are no miracle therapeutics. It’s good, old-fashion public health and people working together.”

Adams encouraged residents to remember the three Ws: wash your hands, wear a mask and watch your distance.

Dr. Mark Wilson, Jefferson County Health Officer, said he and doctors want anyone to get tested who has been around a lot of people, even if they don’t have symptoms.

“Take advantage of this huge opportunity we have over the next two weeks to get a lot of people tested,” Wilson said. “It’s a huge number of tests that have been given to us as a community.”

Tests are free and available for anyone living in Jefferson County who can self-swab, including children and regardless of symptoms. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You must register to be tested, which you can do by clicking here. Print the voucher and take it with you to the testing site. (If you do not have a printer, they can print your voucher at the testing site.) You will receive results in 3-5 days via email.

The testing locations again are Riverchase Galleria – Sears Parking Lot 2500 Galleria Circle, Hoover, AL and Cathedral of the Cross 1480 Center Point Parkway, Center Point, AL.