Shoals man describes coronavirus test process

ADPH said 25 people had coronavirus samples collected at their testing site in Tuscumbia.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 4:43 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 10:00 PM

Thursday, was the first full day of operation for three coronavirus sample collecting sites and a triage center.

WAAY 31 drove by the areas. Things looked calm at Thrive Urgent Care on Cloverdale Road in Florence (test site), Med Plus on Mall Drive in Florence (tests and triage), and Express Med at on Cox Creek Parkway (test site).

David Grutzik, with Med Plus on Mall Drive told WAAY31 they have a limited amount of tests.

He said, "We are triaging patients and have separate waiting areas for well and sick patients. W are testing according to the CDC guidelines. We have a limited supply of test kits. If people do not have symptoms and don't need other treatment we suggest they not come in because we can't test electively. We use a commercial lab that does charge for the test (which insurance covers)."

The health departments testing site on the old campus of Northwest Shoals Community College looked like something out of a movie though. Orange cones and barraicades are protected by Colbert County Sheriff's deputies and police.

David Havens, a local radio DJ, who started feeling bad a few days ago went to ADPH's site in Tuscumbia for testing. Havens had to have a doctors note to get tested at the ADPH site. Other sites do not require a doctors note but must go by guidelines.

"It was surreal. It's very secure," said Havens, as he described ADPH's test site in Tuscumbia.

WAAY31 spoke with Havens over video chat for safety reasons. Havens said it was crazy seeing police guard the health departments coroavirus sampling site in tuscumbia.

"The whole thing from start to finish the doctor the lining up and showing your approval from the doctor and test process right now they are handling it with extreme professionalism," said Havens. "

He said he's had mild symptoms but his doctor wanted him tested. He said he was given a nose swab in his car by a nurse with protective gear.

"It didn't alarm me at all but when you see all these people in masks and protective gear I only see this in two places and that's in country's where they have pandemics all the time or in movies," said Havens.

At the other testing locations in Florence in order to get tested you must have a fever, shortness of breath, a cough, and come in contact with someone suspected of having coronavirus. Those are guidelines from ADPH and the CDC. Even if you have all of these symptoms it will be up to the doctor to decide if you meet the guidelines to be tested.

Havens said he has no idea how he could have gotten coronavirus but he said people need to take this seriously.

"Please listen to virtually every doctor in a country. Both sides of the political isle are agreeing with each other," said Havens.

Havens said after he had his nose swabbed he was told it will take 3 to 5 days for his results to get back. He is self quarantining.

The ADPH testing site in Tuscumbia is open 9 am - 3 pm.

Tap here for more information on coronavirus and to sign up for WAAY 31’s daily coronavirus newsletter

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