Health Department Now Offers Free Community Testing without Physician Referral or Symptoms

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN – The Hamilton County Health Department COVID-19 Testing Site is now open to anyone wanting a COVID-19 test, even if they do not have a provider referral or symptoms. Individuals who think they are infected with COVID-19 can make their own appointment for testing. Local hospitals and healthcare providers can still refer a patient to the Health Department for free testing services.

“We had planned a weekend event similar to what is happening across the state this upcoming weekend,” says Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes, “However, the tornado response and recovery diverted some of the needed logistical resources for this event.”

The Health Department is expanding COVID-19 testing to all persons because, after almost two weeks of operation, it was determined that the Bonnyshire drive-through site can handle more capacity.

Even with these new changes, appointments are required, which allows for patient information to be collected over the phone. This decreases waiting time, expedites services, and reduces the risk of spreading the virus at the testing site.

To access free Health Department testing, interested individuals can call the Health Department at (423) 209-8393 to schedule an appointment. Patients then show up at their appointed time to the testing site located at the Emissions Testing Center, 7460 Bonnyshire Drive.

When an individual is tested, whether referred by self or a provider, they are presumed to be positive until they get a negative test result. During this waiting time, the individual is required to return straight home and self-isolate. Test results are usually available in 24 hours.

If the test result is positive, the Health Department will contact the patient and advise of the next steps and coordinate care. For this reason, it is vitally important to give correct contact information when self-referring an appointment.

Patients will be notified of negative test results by Health Department staff.

For more information or questions about COVID-19, please call the hotline at (423) 209-8383, or visit the Health Department COVID-19 website.

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