Singing River Health System reopens drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Ocean Springs

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:54 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 9:11 PM CST
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Drive-thru testing for COVID is back again. On Thursday, Singing River Health System opened its testing site in Ocean Springs as demand for the test is on the increase.

The nasal swabs never get any easier, but as long as COVID sticks around, you can count on them.

And that frustrates Ocean Springs resident Colin Landis.

“I’m fully vaccinated,” he said. “So, I’m comfortable with that. I wish more people would do that so that we wouldn’t be doing this late in the game. If more people would have participated we wouldn’t be having a problem as much as we are now.”

But because the omicron variant is so easily spread, Landis is not taking any chances with symptoms.

“No one ever promised that the vaccine would prevent the spread or transmission,” Landis said. “And I feel like in the U.K. and South Africa, everyone will get this variant - about 90 percent of us - and then it will play out. And, unfortunately, for the people that aren’t vaccinated, it’s a problem.”

Singing River Health System officials expected a big turnout. Within the first hour of opening, 100 people were tested. In all, 560 came through the line on Thursday.

“Testing at Singing River Health System has increased by 140 percent just since Christmas,” said Sarah Duffey, Singing River Health System director of media relations. “And think it was just because people were getting together, they found out their cousin may have been exposed or has COVID now. And, so I think people were just worried that they may have it and maybe spreading to other people.”

Like Landis, Sabrina Pippen of Biloxi is fully vaccinated, but she said it’s not like going back to square one.

“I’d rather be vaccinated then get it and not have it as severe than not have the vaccination at all,” she said.

Kyle Cox, who is getting tested because of COVID cases in his workplace, wants everyone to remain positive.

“I want to encourage the people to stay in there and have hope,” he said, “to have faith.”

The drive-thru location in Ocean Springs will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays with no appointment necessary.

And the Singing River Gulfport campus will open its drive-through testing Jan. 12 with the same days and hours.

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