Nashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has announced that more than 11,000 Tennesseans received free COVID-19 Cornavirus tests through the weekend efforts of COVID-19 Unified-Command Group to offer tests regardless of traditional symptoms.
The COVID-19 Unified-Command Group is a joint partnership between the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Department of Military and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).
“Tennesseans across the state heeded the call of ‘when in doubt, get a test’ and we believe these efforts will be an important part of our overall strategy to reboot Tennessee’s economy,” said Governor Lee. “While demand exceeded original projections, our Unified-Command group adapted quickly this weekend so that individuals who needed tests could receive them.”
Saturday turnout was the largest with more than 6,500 samples taken from 22 sites across all three grand divisions of the state. Tennessee Department of Health personnel and Soldiers and Airmen of the Tennessee National Guard operated 19 sites, four more than originally planned, to meet the testing demand.
The additional sites were opened in coordination with city and county officials to meet demand based on local needs. Hours were extended to ensure all participants received a test.
Sunday testing turnout exceeded expectations with more than 4,600 tests collected across 11 sites. On both days, many Tennesseans drove to sites outside their county of residence to obtain a test from a neighboring county that operated a weekend site.
“Since Governor Lee’s expanded testing initiative announcement last week, we continue to see an increase in the number of citizens who want to be tested whether it’s on a weekday or weekend and regardless of symptoms,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. “We thank our local partners for their help in making testing events a success and encourage citizens to utilize their local health departments for testing during the week.”
Expanded testing will continue for the next two weekends, April 25th-26th and May 2nd-3rd. A full list of sites can be accessed here. In addition to drive-through sites, all rural county health departments across the state offer free COVID-19 Cornavirus testing 5 days a week.
Weekend Snapshot – Expanded Testing
|REGION||County||# of Hours||Sat||Sun|
|# of tests performed||# of tests performed|
|Upper Cumberland||Van Buren*||3||164|
* National Guard assisted sites