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Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing coming: New cases in North Alabama

Leaders of the Huntsville area met to give the latest COVID-19 numbers. A new way to collect COVID-19 test samples is on the way. Here's how you can get tested...

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —

Leaders of the Huntsville Area met to give the latest COVID-19 numbers.

As of 4:30 pm March, 19: There are 5 confirmed cases in Madison County and 1 confirmed case in Limestone County.

We have a big change to the way our city is distributing tests. Now, you won’t even have to leave your car. 

Drive-Thru COVID-19 testing is coming to Huntsville. The Drive-Thru testing will start Friday from 9am-5pm at John Hunt Park. We’re told 400 kits will be available for testing. 

David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO, says during the conference, “We plan to do a drive-up testing site tomorrow.” 

But you can’t just pull up and get a test on a whim. Spillers adds, “You will need a physician order to get a test at the drive-up clinic.I’d also like to remind the public that if you don’t have any symptoms and you have no need to have a test, you should not get one.” 

With the success of the new Huntsville Hospital Fever and Flu Clinic, the hospital system is looking to expand testing options to have the most accurate take on the virus spread. 

Here are the latest numbers for the Huntsville Hospital system of North Alabama (not just Huntsville location). These numbers were given at noon on March 19, 2020.  

David Spillers tells us, “[Thursday, March 18, 2020], system wide, we sent 93 tests out to the state.” 

A local lab, Diatherix, is now processing tests. Spillers says this will make a big difference in test processing time. He adds, “We now can get turnaround on those patients in hours, not days.”

We’re told there are 39 patients who are in hospitals waiting for COVID-19 test results. 

Huntsville Hospital is working with local suppliers to make sure they don’t run out of necessary equipment. 

David Spillers tells us they need  “Gowns, gloves, goggles, and masks.”  

Other local businesses are feeling the hit. 

Chip Cherry, of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, says, “You can make a huge difference to small companies.” 

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says everyone needs to remember these simple rules. Mayor Battle says,  “'Separate and Sanitize' -- we need to continue that.” 

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