JACKSON – Residents of Benton County and surrounding communities can be tested for COVID-19 this week as the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi State Department of Health continue efforts to stem virus transmission by setting up one-day, drive-through collection sites.

Anyone can be tested who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat; or who has a known or potential exposure to someone confirmed with the virus.

Those who want to be tested must first get an appointment by going through a free screening from a UMMC clinician, either through the C Spire Health telehealth smartphone app or by phone. The fastest and easiest way to get screened and tested is with the C Spire Health app. It’s available daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

The newest testing sites for Saturday, May 9:

Benton County: Benton County Courthouse, 190 Ripley Ave., Ashland

Testing hours are noon-4 p.m. Only those with appointments will be tested.

Hundreds of people in Mississippi communities have taken advantage of the UMMC/MSDH drive-through collection sites. Those numbers include, as of the end of the day May 4, a total 1,459 people at 44 one-day testing states statewide, plus another 3,551 at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, for a total of 5,010 tested.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi National Guard are partnering with UMMC and MSDH to coordinate mobile testing sites. UMMC and C Spire have partnered to make the screening free to all Mississippians.

Those without smartphones who want to be screened for testing can call (601) 496-7200.

During drive-through testing, health care professionals will collect specimen samples via a nose swab. Those being tested will not exit their vehicle. For more information about testing, click here.

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