Health Department Opens COVID-19 Community Testing Site, Outlines Referral Process, Presents Updated Data

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN – The Hamilton County Health Department announces the opening of a COVID-19 community testing site to accelerate COVID-19 testing in our community. A formal referral from a medical provider is required for testing and testing will be by appointment only.

“We are pleased to announce the opening of an additional COVID-19 specimen collection site in our county,” says Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes, “This development represents a positive step so that infected people in the community can be identified early and aggressive contact tracing can begin immediately.”

Referrals from providers will be made beginning tomorrow at 8AM. The testing will begin April 3, 2020, at the Emissions Testing Center, 7460 Bonnyshire Drive.

The Health Department is asking local providers to refer clients who have been screened and determined in need of testing. These patients must be symptomatic. 

Health Department staff will receive these referrals, contact patients, and schedule an appointment time for specimen collection.  Individuals reporting to the assessment site must present a photo ID. Only the referred patient should be in the car, but if they need assistance please limit the number of people in the vehicle to one other support person. Only the referred patient will be tested. The patient should wear a mask if they have one.

The testing site will be operated by Hamilton County Health Department medical personnel and support staff. It will operate as a drive-though and patients will not have to leave their car. To collect the specimen, medical personnel will swab the nose of the patient.

Specimens collected at this assessment site will be sent for testing at the Hamilton County laboratory located at Baylor School. Test results will be sent to the referring physician and the Health Department within 24 hours.  There is no cost to the patient for the test.

Referred patients who consent to testing are presumed positive until a negative test result is returned.  They will be given a Letter of Isolation that requires their restricted movement until they receive a negative test result.

Restricted movement means:

  • Stay at home and limit contact with others in the household.
  • Designate a room to stay in with access to a bathroom that only they use, if at all possible.
  • A patient should wear a face mask if they need to be within 6 feet of others in their home.
  • For those patients receiving a test, persons who were in their presence 2 days prior to getting sick, should consider themselves quarantined and should significantly limit their contact with others as much as possible.
  • If a patient needs to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, chemotherapy, they should call their doctor for guidance. If a patient needs to go out for a medical reason, they should wear a mask over their nose and mouth.

The Health Department continues to ask everyone to do their part to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus by practicing social distancing and using everyday actions to protect themselves

According to CDC, everyone is susceptible to COVID-19 infection regardless of age, sex, race, country of origin, or economic status, while those aged 65 years and older, those who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and those with other high-risk conditions are most likely to have serious outcomes.

For more information, please call the Health Department’s hotline at 209-8383, or visit the Health Department’s webpage at

Hamilton County COVID-19 Case Data (as of March 31, 1:30PM)

Case Status

Positive Test Results

42 (50*)

Negative Test Results


Total Test Results











*The cumulative case total on this date is 50, but these tables are based on the 42 cases for which the Health Department has data to report at this stage in the investigations.


Age Demographics

18-49 years


50-64 years


65+ years


Not yet determined at the time of press†



† Not all of the details of a case may be available at the time of publication.


Sex Demographics





Not yet determined at the time of press




Race Demographics







Not yet determined at the time of press



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