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Drive-thru test site planned for Pearl River County

A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site is set to open in Pearl River County later this week.

The testing site is tentatively set to open on Thursday, but a location for the testing site was not determined as of Monday morning, said Emergency Operations Manager Danny Manley. The location will be set up by the Mississippi State Department of Health. Manley is working with MSDH to find a location, he told the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors at Monday’s meeting.

The State Department of Health will send a tent along with 45 people to run the site. The drive-thru testing location will be by appointment. People will be able to use a phone app to speak with someone and identify if they have symptoms and to set up an appointment for testing.

Manley asked the Board to help direct him to potential site locations for the testing, since that location needs to offer drive-thru services and may be negatively associated with COVID-19 after the pandemic is over.

Board members suggested the Health Department building in Carriere, which Manley will discuss with the State Health Department.

Manley said he asked to have two locations in the county, but there is only a plan for one. Two weeks ago, Manley discussed using the Pearl River Community College campus as a testing location, but nothing was decided.

Manley said he also approached Highland Community Hospital administration about using the hospital’s parking lot as a testing location, an idea that Administrator Bryan Maxie supported, but was apparently denied by his higher ups.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health website, there is currently one test provider in Picayune: the Picayune Family Health Center, which can be reached at 601-251-3500. Individual providers set their own testing fee, and require symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever of at least 100.4 and severe cough or chest pain. People should call ahead before visiting to arrange a test.

Other individual test providers in the region include: Forrest General and Hattiesburg Clinics’ Cough and Fever Clinic, Forrest General Hospital, Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, and Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative Minor Care Clinic, all in Hattiesburg; Lumberton Family Health Center in Lumberton; Memorial Drinkwater Internal Medicine in Bay St. Louis; and Memorial Stone County Medical Center in Wiggins.

A full list of individual providers offering COVID-19 tests is available on the Mississippi State Department of Health website.