Lawrence Medical Center in Moulton is now serving as a testing collection site for COVID-19 as long as testing kits last, according to LMC CEO Dean Griffin.
Patients being tested at the Medical Center on Hospital Street in Moulton must have an order from a physician or a nurse practitioner, Griffin added.
“Most physicians are performing telephone consultations for patients who believe they may have COVID-19 symptoms and can send us an order for testing,” he said.
Individuals who are showing symptoms of coronavirus—which include high fever, shortness of breath and cough—and have an order from their physician, can drive to the end of the hospital near Dr. Gillespie’s and Dr. Hall’s offices where a tent is set up.
Griffin said individuals will be asked for basic information, including their name and birthday, before they are tested. Samples are collected by swabbing a patient’s nasal passage.
“We will collect the specimen to be tested while the patient is in their vehicle,” Griffin said. “These specimens are sent to the State lab and are taking 4 to 7 days for results to come back.”
Once results are received, Griffin said the patient would be notified by the hospital or by their primary care physician.
For individuals without a regular physician, Griffin advised them to seek testing at the hospital’s Urgent Care Clinic on Alabama 157 in Moulton.
“Individuals are strongly urged to call first, and then call Urgent Care again when they arrive. Those being tested can also remain in their vehicle for specimen collection,” he said.
Coronavirus testing at each of the Lawrence Medical sites is free and is conducted at Lawrence Medical from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Lawrence Medical’s Urgent Care Clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
“We strongly urge patients to use one of these options rather than visiting the Emergency Department,” said Griffin. “When individuals are tested outside, there is less chance of exposure for patients as well as staff members. We’re trying to keep this process smooth and safe for our patients as well as for our staff. We are following the public precautions as recommended by the CDC.”
Griffin said LMC received 100 testing kits on Friday afternoon and began conducting tests for the new coronavirus on Monday. He said the hospital had taken about 5 samples by that afternoon.
“Once we run out of the kits, or when we see testing pick up, we may be able to get more kits,” he said.
As of press time Tuesday, there were 215 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 25 of Alabama’s counties, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
That number had grown from 196 confirmed cases Monday night, with Morgan, Franklin, Houston and Tallapoosa counties reporting their first cases by noon on Tuesday.
Jefferson, the state’s most populated county, continues to report the most confirmed cases, which was at 90 as of Tuesday morning. Shelby County followed with 24 cases, up from 17 on Monday, and Lee and Madison counties each reported 21 confirmed cases.
Tuscaloosa County had 9 confirmed cases Tuesday morning, Elmore and Montgomery counties each had 8, and St. Clair reported 4 cases. Lauderdale, Baldwin, Chambers, Mobile and Walker counties each had 3 confirmed cases, Calhoun, Cullman and Limestone were reporting 2 cases as of Tuesday, and Jackson, Lamar, Marion, Talladega and Washington counties each had 1 confirmed case.
The number of confirmed cases continues to grow across the state as testing becomes more available. No deaths from the virus have been reported in Alabama.
As of Tuesday, ADPH had conducted 2,321 tests.
For updated information specific to Alabama, visit the ADPH webpage at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html.