RIPLEY • On Thursday, July 2, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Mississippi State Department of Health will host a mobile COVID-19 sample collection site at the Tippah County Fairgrounds from noon-4 p.m. This is the second time UMMC and MSDH have hosted a testing site in Tippah County.

The appointment-only testing is free of charge and restrictions have been eased on who can receive the testing. Those who have been screened will give a specimen sample without exiting their vehicle.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi National Guard are collaborating with UMMC and MSDH to facilitate the collections.

Those who believe they need to be tested must first complete a free screening from a UMMC clinician through an online questionnaire at umc.edu/covidscreening. Or, they can call the UMMC Center for Telehealth at (601) 496-7200 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Anyone determined to need testing will receive an appointment date and time at the testing site most convenient

During the screening, a medical provider will determine the patient’s level of risk for having COVID-19 based on their symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.

At the collection sites, providers wearing protective gear will come to the vehicle window to retrieve specimens for testing to be performed at the MSDH Public Health Lab. Those being tested aren’t permitted to leave their vehicle.

Those tested will receive their results by phone and given further instructions if they test positive.

As of Thursday, June 25, Mississippi has recorded 24,516 COVID-19 cases and 1,016 deaths. Tippah County has seen 115 cases and 11 deaths, while Benton County has seen 25 cases and 0 deaths. 

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