Singing River Health System resumes drive-through testing amid COVID-19 spike
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - An increased search for COVID-19 tests on the Coast has sparked Singing River Health System into reopening its drive-thru testing sites.
As the cases continue to surge, one South Mississippi couple is pleading folks to get tested as they battle the virus and its symptoms.
”It was miserable and that’s with me being vaccinated,” said Courtney Hancock. “I can’t imagine what it would have been if I hadn’t.”
Courtney Hancock and her boyfriend Josh Stephens, despite being fully vaccinated, recently tested positive for COVID.
“Some days you feel good,” said Stephens. “Other days you feel like maybe this is it.”
For Stephens, it hit close to home. He’s seen multiple co-workers die after contracting the virus.
“Personally, within the school district that I teach in, we’ve lost two teachers to COVID this year.”
The State Health Department reported 6,592 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 new deaths in the state Wednesday. It’s the highest single-day number of cases the state has recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.
That’s one reason Singing River Health Systems is resuming drive-thru testing in Ocean Springs Thursday.
“Given the demand that we’re seeing in our clinics with so many patients coming through, to better serve our community, this is what’s really needed,” said Singing River Health System Operations Manager Brett Burdine.
According to hospital leaders, the drive-thru option is currently the safest choice.
“With this site right here, instead of going to a clinic and exposing themselves to other patients in the lobby, they can come here and stay in their vehicle and get a test via drive-thru,” said Burdine.
As Hancock recovers, she advised anyone experiencing symptoms to get tested.
“Please get tested because I was fully convinced that I had the flu,” she said. “Even my doctor said that she thought it was the flu but wanted to test me just in case. And then she came in with my positive results and I was like, are you serious?”
The drive-through location in Ocean Springs off of Highway 90 will be open from 8am until 3pm on weekdays, and no appointment is necessary. Singing River’s Gulfport hospital is set to open its drive-thru testing on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Both PCR and rapid testing can also be done at any Singing River Clinic.
Right now, Singing River Health System has 25 hospitalizations across its three hospitals. Of those hospitalized, 80 percent are unvaccinated.
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