SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The first drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Louisiana specifically for first responders and medical personnel will open Thursday in Shreveport, according to local officials.
In a news conference held early Wednesday afternoon, Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator said the site eventually will be opened up to certain segments of the population, although who they will be has not been officially determined.
Prator said weather permitting, the drive-through testing will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Shreve City Walmart, 1125 Shreveport-Barksdale Highway. The Shreveport site was selected with input from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Walmart, Quest, and state and local officials who identified a need and requested support.
First responders and health care professionals who are exhibiting symptoms of the virus and meet medical eligibility can schedule an appointment through Quest Diagnostics’ MyQuest online portal. After receiving an appointment time, they can drive through and be tested.
Individuals being tested will perform a self-administered nasal swab in their car with a health care worker observing them. The site does not accept walk-ups and is not open to the general public.
Prator said results should be expected within a couple of days.
“Our first responders and health care professionals are being hit especially hard,” Prator said. “These are the people who can’t go home. It’s their job to take care of others, and to do so they must stay healthy. Prioritizing their testing helps keep our workforce strong so we can continue to provide necessary services.”
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins added, “Our first responders and healthcare workers are on the frontline of this pandemic, risking their lives to keep us safe. Providing them with access to testing is the least we can do to repay those who sacrifice so much on our behalf. We are grateful to our partners at Walmart for stepping up during this difficult time and fulfilling this critical need.”
“The Caddo Parish Commission appreciates the partnership with companies in our parish like Walmart and Quest Diagnostics, who have made the safety and welfare of our first responders and healthcare workers a priority,” said Mario Chavez, president, Caddo Parish. “The addition of this mobile testing site is a proactive step in the fight against combating COVID-19 in our community.”
First responders and health care professionals who have questions can contact Quest’s dedicated COVID-19 line at 866-448-7719.
While this is the first drive-through site specifically for first-responders, there are currently three community testing sites in Region 7, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. They are:
HealthCARE Express Urgent Care
4526 Northport Blvd, Shreveport
8am-8pm, M-F. 8am-4pm, Sat/Sun
Patients are asked to please call: 318-935-9626 if experiencing fever AND any of the following symptoms: cough, sore throad, shortness of breath. A virtual visit with a provider will be completed, after which patients will be directed to drive through the facility parking lot to be swabbed. Please bring photo ID and insurance card.
Natchitoches Regional Medical Center
CLTCC Natchitoches Campus, 6587 LA-1 Bypass, Natchitoches
10am-12pm, Tues and Thursday
No MD or provider order required. Criteria for Testing – Patient must have fever of 100.4 or other symptom such as: shortness of breath, cough; OR have a high risk condition such as: over 60 year of age, lung disease (COPS, asthma, Chronic Bronchitis), Heart Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, Immunocompromised. Patient will receive results, whether negative or positive, from one of the designated hospital providers within 2-4 days.
Casse Stonewall Clinic
149 Stonecreek Road, Stonewall, LA
2 providers on site daily. Patients are asked to call clinic before arriving: 318-775-1014. Bring photo ID and insurance card.