COVID testing

Free COVID testing will be offered in downtown Wetumpka on Nov. 30.

Area residents will soon have an opportunity to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing, thanks to the Southeast Alabama Area Health Education Center.

The SEAAHEC is set to offer free COVID-19 tests from 9 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 30 at 412 South Main Street, which is the empty lot next to the Wetumpka Civic Center.

There are only 140 tests available, so those interested in getting tested must go online to schedule an appointment.

“With COVID cases increasing in the area and throughout the state and with the holidays around the corner — a time when people are likely to be gathering – this is a good time to het tested,” said Jake Garnett with the SEAAHEC.

Garnett said patients don’t have to have insurance to take advantage of this opportunity, nor do they have to have symptoms.

“This is a good opportunity for people, for uninsured people especially, to get tested just to make sure and to help ease their minds,” Garnett said. “There have been a couple of people without any symptoms that have tested positive.”

The process will be quick, simple and usually takes five minutes or less. Patients should arrive wearing their mask. They will be directed to pull up to a tent where they will be registered and then receive an goody bag containing need-to-know information about COVID and the different steps to take in various situations.

“The nasal swab will be given to the person,” Garnett said, “and the medical personnel will walk them through the process of swabbing. It’s a simple, pain-free nose swab. The patient will stick the swab into a vile and we will store it in a cooler.”

Garnett said the Alabama Civil Air Patrol will fly the tests to UAB where they will be tested. It will take 48 hours for patients to get their results back. Each patient will receive a call about the results of their test.

To schedule an appointment, go to https://freecovid19testing.youcanbook.me.

This public service is made possible through partnerships with the Alabama Department of Public Health, UAB and the Alabama Civil Air Patrol.