Greenbrier

A temporary coronavirus drive-thru testing site will be stationed in Greenbrier on Friday.

A local doctor’s office is working alongside Natural State Laboratories, an Arkansas-based genetic lab in Little Rock, to make the temporary testing site available to Greenbrier residents.

Greenbrier Mayor Sammy Joe Hartwick said Natural State Laboratories contacted the city in mid-March to work on setting up and organizing a drive-thru clinic.

The drive-thru testing site will be available to area residents from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and will be stationed at the Greenbrier Event Center’s front entrance. The city center is located at 5 Lois Lane, which is behind city hall.

“We thought this was a great opportunity to make this service available to our citizens,” Hartwick told the Log Cabin Democrat. “The more people that can be tested, the more accurate data we have locally and statewide, which helps decision makers make better determinations as well as [working to help] citizens become more comfortable with those determinations. Not every town gets this opportunity, and we were very excited to partner with Natural State Laboratories to bring this mobile testing unit to Greenbrier.”

Limited testing is available to those who show symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, chills, a cough, sore throat or who have shortness of breath or other lower respirator symptoms. Testing will also be conducted on those who:

Have come in close contact with another person who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having the novel coronavirus and is on quarantine.

Recently traveled to another country where COVID-19 is endemic.

Exposed to the coronavirus in a public place or at a facility where COVID-19 is spreading – a nursing home, dormitory, day care center along with other community locations.

Those who plan to participate in the drive-thru clinic should bring a valid ID and their insurance information.

Shellie O’Quinn, the city’s event center director, said she was thankful Dr. Alyson Fish with the Family First Primary Care in Greenbrier has helped make coronavirus screening possible for Greenbrier residents who may not otherwise be able to undergo proper testing.

“This is a great opportunity for people to get tested who might have been turned away from a health care provider or are uninsured,” she told the Log Cabin. “The mobile lab does accept insurance, but if you are uninsured, there is no charge to get tested, making this a great service to our citizens.”

Fish, along with her Family First Primary Care staff, will volunteer time to help run the drive-thru screening clinic on Friday.

The city’s event center staff will also be on hand as needed, O’Quinn said.

“We are thankful for this opportunity to serve our community in this unique way, even though we are currently closed,” the event center director said. “It is great to be able to safely serve our citizens in this way.”

Those participating in the drive-thru screening will not be allowed to leave their vehicles.

Organizers expect there to be a hefty wait line and recommend those who plan to participate bring food and drinks with them in their vehicle

“Individuals who qualify for testing will be required to remain in their vehicles from the moment they enter the testing site until they leave the property,” according to a news release. “There potentially could be a wait time in the testing line, so personal needs such as food, drinks and restroom breaks will need to be taken care of prior to arrival.”

The event center will remain closed during the drive-thru screening event.

It could take up to 78 hours for testing results to come in. Those who participate in the screening will receive their results electronically, and all data collected during the drive-thru clinic will be sent to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.

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