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Free COVID testing with quick turnaround times to end soon

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Posted at 8:34 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 21:34:37-04

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) announced on Thursday that free COVID-19 testing at sites sponsored by the federal government will end next week. These sites are supported by LDH and the Louisiana National Guard.

These tests are available locally at Cajun Field and the Lake Charles Civic Center. Testing is also being completed at the Rapides Parish Exhibition Center in Alexandria.

Louisiana launched the surge testing initiative last month with 60,000 tests made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 3,000 are still available, according to LDH. The average turnaround time for results has been three and a half days.

Pre-registration is not required but is encouraged by going to www.doineedacovidtest.com.

People must provide a telephone number and email address to be tested. An ID is NOT required.

Test results will be provided by email notification and on the TrueNorth portal. If someone tests positive, they will also be contacted by phone. There is no phone number to call for results. Results will only be provided by email and in the portal.

Testing is available to anyone, but officials are encouraging those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or anyone who has been exposed to someone with the virus to be tested due to the limited number of tests remaining.

LDH testing coordinator Kimberly Hood said the sites have been designed to support communities identified as COVID-19 hotspots. She encourages students and teachers who are returning to school in these regions to get tested.

"With the school year starting for some students, this is the perfect opportunity for any student or teacher who is concerned that they might have the virus to get a test," she said. "With a three-day turnaround, people can get their results in time to make the best decision about returning to the classroom."

Testing is available at Cajun Field on the following dates and times:

Friday, August 7; Saturday, August 8; Monday, August 10; and Tuesday, August 11
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. each day

The Lake Charles Civic Center's dates and times are:

Friday, August 7; and Monday to Friday, August 10-14
8 a.m. - 2 p.m. each day

For more information, contact the regional Office of Public Health.

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