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State announces new mobile testing sites in southwest Louisiana

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Posted at 2:16 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 15:16:45-04

Beginning this week, residents of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes will have more local options for COVID-19 testing.

In partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health and local parish governments, the Louisiana National Guard will be operating mobile testing sites to make it more convenient for residents of southwest Louisiana to get a test.

Mobile testing uses trucks and equipment operated by the Louisiana National Guard to bring testing kits to neighborhood locations such as schools, community centers, fire stations and other local neighborhood locations.

Test sites are open Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to approximately 11 a.m.

Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, the Office of Public Health regional medical director for the five-parish region, said, “This partnership greatly increases testing opportunity for residents, especially in the rural and unincorporated areas of these parishes.”

“Several hospitals and other community testing sites in our region have offered COVID-19 tests that have helped us to understand the prevalence of the coronavirus in our region,” Dr. Cavanaugh said. “We are now working to increase the number of test sites, to bring the sites closer to where people live, shop and visit during a typical day, and serve those communities that have may have been under served or could not access a central test site.”

Starting today, the mobile testing units and Louisiana National Guard testing personnel will visit different sites in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes. Testing will last for four weeks, through June 26, 2020.

Dates and locations are listed below for the first two weeks in each parish.

Testing Dates and Sites

ALLEN PARISH WEEK 1 - WEEK 2

Monday6/1/2020OakdaleOakdale Police Station118 N. 10th St.
Tuesday6/2/2020ElizabethElizabeth Community Center210 E. Main St.
Wednesday6/3/2020KinderKinder Fire Station808 2nd. Ave.
Monday6/8/2020EltonCoushatta Department of Health2003 C.C. Bel Road
Tuesday6/9/2020ReevesReeves Fire Station313 Ford St.

BEAUREGARD PARISH WEEK 1 - WEEK 2

Thursday6/4/2020South BeauregardSouth Beauregard Upper Elementary School12378 LA 171
Friday6/5/2020South BeauregardSouth Beauregard Upper Elementary School12378 LA 171
Wednesday6/10/2020DeRidderBeaucare628 High School Road
Thursday6/11/2020DeRidderBeaucare628 High School Road
Friday6/12/2020DeRidderBeaucare628 High School Road

CALCASIEU PARISH WEEK 1 - WEEK 2

Monday6/1/2020WestlakeWestlake City Hall1001 Mulberry St.
Thursday6/4/2020VintonVinton Police Department1201 Horridge St.
Friday6/5/2020VintonVinton Police Department1201 Horridge St.
Monday6/8/2020SulphurWest Calcasieu Arena Event Center401 Arena Road
Wednesday6/10/2020Lake CharlesLake Charles Civic Center900 Lakeshore Drive
Thursday6/11/2020Lake CharlesLake Charles Civic Center900 Lakeshore Drive
Friday6/12/2020Lake CharlesLake Charles Civic Center900 Lakeshore Drive

CAMERON PARISH WEEK 1 - WEEK 2

Tuesday6/2/2020HackberryHackberry Community Center980 Main St.
Tuesday6/2/2020Grand LakeGrand Lake Fireman Center965 LA 384
Wednesday6/3/2020HackberryHackberry Community Center980 Main St.
Monday6/8/2020CameronCameron Community Center122 Recreation Center Lane
Tuesday6/9/2020HackberryHackberry Community Center980 Main St.
Tuesday6/9/2020CameronCameron Community Center122 Recreation Center Lane

JEFFERSON DAVIS PARISH WEEK 1 - WEEK 2

Wednesday6/3/2020Lake ArthurLake Arthur Community Center701 8th St.
Thursday6/4/2020JenningsMultipurpose Building403 Baker St.
Friday6/5/2020JenningsMultipurpose Building403 Baker St.
Wednesday6/10/2020JenningsMultipurpose Building403 Baker St.
Thursday6/11/2020JenningsMultipurpose Building403 Baker St.
Friday6/12/2020JenningsMultipurpose Building403 Baker St.

“The Louisiana National Guard proudly partners with the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health and local parish leaders to help support the expansion of COVID-19 testing in Louisiana to better serve the community and Protect What Matters," said Brig. Gen. Cindy H. Haygood, the Guard’s assistant adjutant general. "With our public health partners and support of local parish leadership, we have the equipment and the medical personnel to bring testing to the communities where people live.”

Test site details

  • The sites, which will be staffed by members of the Louisiana National Guard, are open for a period of five days per week.
  • The schedule starting June 1 will be Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to approximately 11 a.m.
  • Testing is for open for any Louisiana resident 18 years of age and older with valid Louisiana identification.
  • Each testing site will be conducted as a drive-thru test site.
  • Once on site, those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and self-administered test. Walk-up testing is not preferred due to safety concerns, but walk-ups will not be turned away.
  • The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose on site while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site.
  • Once received, the Office of Public Health will contact those who were tested to communicate their results and share any necessary information.
  • While awaiting results, individuals who have been tested should follow CDC guidelines and take steps to help prevent the virus from spreading to people in their home and community.

Contact tracing underway

Dr. Cavanaugh added that contact tracing is also underway throughout the region. “Contact tracing can help us quickly identify and contain spread of the virus,” she added. “Everyone can help protect themselves, their families and the community by talking openly with the contact tracer if called. The call is private and your information will not be shared with other people.”

Contact tracing is crucial as Louisiana eases restrictions on businesses and activities. Contact tracing works as follows: When someone tests positive, a contact tracer will try to call everyone who came in close contact with the COVID-positive person. Everyone called by a contact tracer is advised to watch themselves for signs of illness for 14 days from when they first came in contact with the COVID-19 person.

All contact tracers will call from 877-766-2130. If someone calls from a number other than 877-766-2130, claims to be a contact tracer and asks for personal information, hang up immediately.