JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Get tested: that’s the message Singing River Health System is putting out as it ramps up its testing efforts.
On Thursday, Singing River hosted a drive-up COVID-19 testing site at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.
“Our goal is to test as many people in our community as we can throughout this time frame," said Jason Ely, director of primary care services.
COVID-19 testing is becoming even more important as restrictions loosen and businesses across the state begin to reopen. Singing River has already administered nearly 5,000 coronavirus tests and expects that number to grow.
“Actually, we have several businesses and companies and different organizations that are reaching out to us that want their employees tested. Because as things seem to lift more, people aren’t being as social distanced as they should," Ely said.
Even if you don’t have symptoms, Singing River Health System is still encouraging you to come and get tested.
Faye Lett was one who got tested on Thursday.
“I have been in contact with people who didn’t wear a mask, so I just want to make sure that I’m alright because I believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry," she said.
Originally, when testing supplies were limited, only those with symptoms were asked to come for testing. That guidance has now changed.
“Perhaps even though they’re asymptomatic, they’re at risk, and/or they could be in a living situation where they’re in close proximity with someone who has tested positive. So now at this stage, we’re able to also provide testing for community members that are in that type situation,” said Heath Thompson, administrator of Ocean Springs Hospital.
The hope is that increased testing and encouraging safe habits will prevent a second surge of cases.
“Wash your hands, stay away from people best you can and protect yourself," Ely said.