Know Before You Go: The wait is an hour or more for a coronavirus test at the Knox County Health Department

Coronavirus Resources

Bring a lawn chair, water and patience

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — With more than 400 people a day waiting for a COVID-19 test at the Knox County Health Department, wait times continue to remain high.

Charity Menefee, director of environmental and communicable disease with Knox County Health Deparmtnet, said those seeking a test right now could wait up to an hour or more.

If you are wanting to get a test, you are encouraged to wear a mask and socially distance. You can also bring water and a lawn chair if you want.

Coronavirus tests times and location

Tests are being offered at the Health Department’s main office at 140 Dameron Ave. Testing times are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and signs will guide you to the testing site. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for targeted testing events in neighborhoods and communities.

The test at the health department free to the public. The wait time for results is typically around four days, according to Menefee, but it could be as long as a week. Testing at other sites across the state and in the county may vary.

Results take days to get

“There’s a lot of different other labs (the tests) can be going to and there’s variation and delays with those labs,” Menefee said. “Some right now are experiencing delays. … But it really varies on when they’re able to get their supplies in and their internal lab capacity.

Menefee reiterated that a negative test result is just a “snapshot in time” and doesn’t mean you could potentially contract the novel coronavirus later.

“While testing is critical to identify and break the chain of transmission, it does not prevent you from getting the virus,” she said.

More information

For more information, please call KCHD’s public information line at 865-215-5555 or toll-free at 888-288-6022. The information line is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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