Williamson County announces changes to COVID-19 testing process

Residents can receive a test without having to leave their car. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Residents can receive a test without having to leave their car. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

Residents can receive a test without having to leave their car. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

Beginning Dec. 21, Williamson County will make changes to its COVID-19 testing process to prepare for vaccine distribution, according to an announcement from the Williamson County Health Department.

While testing will still be available Monday through Friday at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center—located at 4215 Long Lane, Franklin—Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will be self-testing days, while tests on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be administered by staff members.

“We’re making this transition so our department of health staff can assist with administration of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Lisa Piercey, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, in a release. “State-run health departments currently collect an average of only 16% of all COVID-19 tests statewide, and our change will not affect the wide availability of testing through private providers in Tennessee. While the arrival of vaccines is welcome, it is imperative that we not let up on basic best practices and continue to protect each other by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and staying home when sick.”

Individuals who take self-tests must be age 18 or older and have access to a smartphone with internet and an email address. After receiving a self-testing kit, individuals will remain in their vehicles and watch an instructional video. After they conduct their test, which is a nasal swab PCR test, the test will be given to a staff member and sent for processing.

Test results may be available after three days, depending on volume, and results will be reported directly to the individual, although positive cases will be reported to the Tennessee Department of Health. Tests will still be free, and no insurance is required, according to the WCHD.

Testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays is open to anyone. Testing facilities will be closed Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

See more about the new testing process here.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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