OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Several counties are now offering free drive-thru COVID-19 testing for anyone who wants it, even if you aren't showing symptoms.
Oak Ridge already started, partnering with Kroger to offer drive-thru testing this week. They tested 593 people over three days.
It's a nose swab test you do yourself in your car, which many people will see if they choose drive-thru testing.
They ask you make an appointment ahead of time through your respective health department, or Kroger if they're the ones administering the test.
You're asked to wear a mask, bring your license and keep your window rolled up. You will need to crack your window to talk to the test administrators and receive paperwork and your test.
These sites are usually set up in parking lots. Follow the signs and paths set up with traffic cones.
Health care providers will meet you at your car window and ask for your name and identification.
This all happens through your cracked car window. Do not get out of your vehicle at any point in this process.
Testing personnel will guide you to the next check point, where they will confirm your information and go over paperwork.
You must verbally consent that you are willing to take the COVID-19 test.
You are given a copy of the consent form, instructions on how to do the nose swab test, instructions on what to do while you wait for your test results, and information on how you will find out if your results are positive or negative.
If you test positive, you will get a call from your local health department so it's important to provide an accurate phone number.
The health care provider will warn you that the test does not hurt, but it may make you sneeze or make your eyes water.
While waiting for the test, a worker will come up and ask you to hold up your license to your closed window so they can write your name and birth date on your test tube.
You wait in your designated line until you're waved to drive under a tent where the tests are administered.
You will verify the information on your tube is correct, and then receive a long, sealed swab through your cracked car window.
The health care provider will instruct you to stick the swab one and a half to two inches up your nose.
"If you don't feel it burning then it may not be going up high enough," said one provider.
You will feel the burn.
Rotate the swab twice and wait 15 seconds. The test administrator will count to 15 aloud.
Then you repeat with the same swab in your other nostril.
You will be given test tube to insert the swab, test side down, and instructed to break off the excess end of the swab. Seal the tube with the lid provided and hand it back to the provider.
They will verify your contact information.
That completes the process and you're free to leave.
Test results are said to be available three to seven days later.
If you have an appointment, it takes less than 30 minutes.
Wait times may be longer now that testing is opening up to more people.
In Knox County you can go to the engineering and public works building on Baxter Avenue starting Monday, April 20.
You will need to enter from Wray Street.
Drive-thru testing will be open Monday through Friday from 8 until 3.
The health department is expecting a big turnout.