Knox County, Kroger hosting drive-thru coronavirus testing at Zoo Knoxville parking lot

Coronavirus

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Health Department has finalized its plans for a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site.

KCHD, along with the City of Knoxville and Kroger, will host the event from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4, in the Zoo Knoxville parking lot, 3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive.

You must qualify to be tested and have an appointment.

RELATED: COVID-19 assessment sites in East Tennessee

KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan says she hopes to get a better picture of the state of health in Knox County by offering the convenient testing option.

“We are grateful to Kroger and our community partners for providing this opportunity for Knox County,” Dr. Martha Buchanan, public health officer and director of the KCHD, said.

Charity Menefee, director of Communicable and Environmental Disease and Emergency Preparedness for KCHD, echoed Buchanan’s sentiments but also said that more testing would more than likely lead to an increase in overall positive case numbers.

“As we increase testing in general throughout the community, we expect to see more at this time,” Menefee said at the health department’s daily briefing on Thursday. “The more people that are able to get tested is a good thing for us even if our numbers go up. It allows us to frame our response better.”

To be tested, individuals must meet CDC guidelines for testing, which include fever, shortness of breath, chills, cough, or recent exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19; be approved by Kroger Health prior to the testing dates; and have an appointment.

RELATED: Coronavirus resources

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our health department along with the rest of our community and partners who are working hard to make things like this possible,” Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said. “One of the most important things we can do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is extensive testing. Drive-thru testing will make this process much easier and convenient.”

To request an appointment, call Kroger Health at 1-888-837-8852

To request an appointment, Knox County residents should call Kroger Health (The Little Clinic) at 1-888-837-8852 (1-888-TEST TLC) and answer a few questions about your symptoms. If approved, a Kroger Health Call Center Associate will call you back to confirm your appointment and take additional information.

“The City of Knoxville is committed to doing everything we can to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “We are pleased to be able to offer the Zoo as the location for this much-needed service in our community right now. We appreciate all of the people who have come together to get the drive-thru testing started and hope this will help expedite results and provide some comfort for those with COVID-19 symptoms.”

Individuals who are approved for testing must bring a valid ID and their appointment verification to the testing location. There is no charge to individuals and insurance status is not a barrier for testing.

How to get tested at the Health Department

Individuals in Knox County who meet clinical guidelines and high-risk criteria and/or are uninsured may continue to be tested through the Knox County Health Department. To be tested in this manner, Knox County residents must call 865-215-5555 before they can be approved and scheduled for testing. Specimen collection is still done by drive-thru process at the health department when possible. Currently, walk-in testing is unavailable.

“Kroger is proud to partner with the Knox County Health Department in this important effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health, said.

For more information on COVID-19, including the public health response in Knox County, visit: https://covid.knoxcountytn.gov/.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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