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EAMC ending COVID-19 drive-thru testing at end of week

EAMC ending COVID-19 drive-thru testing at end of week

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COVID-19 in Lee County

In this March 2020 file photo, EAMC nurses handle a coronavirus test at the drive-thru testing center located at the old Health Plus Fitness Center in Auburn.

East Alabama Medical Center is ending its drive-thru COVID-19 testing after operating the site for more than 11 months.

The testing site will be discontinued after Friday due to testing expanding throughout the community.

“When we opened it last March, it was the main source of testing for this area,” said John Atkinson, EAMC spokesman, “and we tested as many as 825 people a week last July.”

Since then, testing has expanded in the community and is available at many physician offices, urgent care offices and pharmacies.

“Over the past year, our employees have been reassigned at times to work in areas specific to COVID-19,” stated Atkinson. “The need for testing has been declining for several weeks now, and we’re hopeful it will continue to do so as vaccinations increase. We feel that now is the time to bring that portion of our COVID efforts to a close.”

EAMC will continue to run its COVID-19 Infusion Center, Call Center and Community Vaccine Clinic and plans on trying to return as many employees as possible to their regular jobs, Atkinson added.

EAMC’s Emergency Department remains available for patients in need of medical care, and COVID-19 testing will continue to take place for those patients at the hospital system’s emergency departments in Opelika and Valley, EAMC said in a Wednesday news release.

The Emergency Department, however, is not a site for routine virus testing. Those in need of COVID-19 testing can still call 334-528-SICK to help locate a testing location in the area.

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