DHH - Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

08/06/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/06/2020 16:34

Free COVID-19 testing with quick turnaround times to end soon

Free COVID-19 testing at sites sponsored by the federal government will end next week. Testing is available at Cajun Field at the University of Louisiana, the Lake Charles Civic Center and the Rapides Parish Exhibition Center in Alexandria. These sites are supported locally by the Louisiana National Guard and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

Limited number of tests remain

Louisiana launched the surge testing initiative last month with 60,000 tests made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 3,000 tests are still available, according to LDH. The average turnaround time for results has been 3.5 days - much quicker than at most other COVID-19 testing sites.

These sites use the laboratory eTrueNorth to conduct the tests and provide results. Pre-registration is NOT required but encouraged by going to www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com.

People must provide a telephone number and email address to be tested. An ID is NOT required.

Test results will be provided by email notification and on the eTrueNorth portal. If someone tests positive, they will also be contacted by phone. There is no phone number to call for results. Results will only be provided by email and in the portal.

Who can be tested?

With a limited number of tests remaining, people who have COVID-19 symptoms or anyone who has been exposed to someone with the virus are encouraged to get tested. However, testing is available to everyone.

LDH testing coordinator Kimberly Hood said the sites have been designed to support communities identified as COVID-19 hotspots. She encourages students and teachers who are returning to school in these regions to get tested.

'With the school year starting for some students, this is the perfect opportunity for any student or teacher who is concerned that they might have the virus to get a test,' she said. 'With a three-day turnaround, people can get their results in time to make the best decision about returning to the classroom.'

Test site locations

Lafayette: Cajun Field, University of Louisiana at 2351 W. Congress St.
Friday, August 7; Saturday, August 8; Monday, August 10; and Tuesday, August 11
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. each day

Lake Charles: Lake Charles Civic Center at 900 N. Lakeshore Drive
Friday, August 7; and Monday to Friday, August 10-14
8 a.m. - 2 p.m. each day

Alexandria: Exhibition Hall at 5600 Coliseum Blvd.
Friday, August 7; Saturday, August 8; and Monday to Friday, August 10-14
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. each day

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Local contact information

For more information about the test sites in specific regions, contact the Office of Public Health medical director listed below.

Lafayette: Dr. Tina Stefanski, 337-262-5311 or [email protected]

Lake Charles: Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, 337-475-3203 or [email protected]

Alexandria: Dr. David Holcombe, 318-487-5262 or [email protected]

Save the number 877-766-2130 in your phone

Anyone who receives a call from 877-766-2130 is urged to answer, as the call is from a contact tracer who will keep an individual's information private. Personal information is used to quickly identify anyone a COVID-positive individual may have been in close contact with to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. Everyone called by a contact tracer is advised to watch themselves for signs of illness for 14 days from when they first came in contact with the COVID-19 person.

If a resource need is identified through the contact tracing interview, the case is flagged for follow-up from a resource coordinator social worker who can connect individuals with resources including medication, masks, food assistance and even help locating alternative housing.

Contact tracers employed by LDH will only ask you for your first and last name and your date of birth to confirm that you are the person they intended to call. They will not ask for any financial information, social security numbers or health insurance information. If someone claiming to be employed by LDH does ask for that, immediately hang up and call 877-766-2130 to be connected with LDH's contact tracers.