Free COVID-19 mobile testing begins in northeast Louisiana

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OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Free mobile COVID-19 testing began Monday morning in several northeast Louisiana Parishes. Officials were able to help 50 people self-test at each location.

(Source: KNOE)

As people lined up for the testing in the First Baptist Church parking lot in Calhoun, Leon Underwood says it was important he get tested too. “I think I may have been exposed to it a couple months ago, but I haven’t been to a doctor yet or anything,” Underwood says.

He hadn’t experienced many symptoms other than coughing that would cause more concern, but he’s still making sure in case he’s asymptomatic. “Already having health issues with my lungs and stuff especially, but just to find out and having that comfort knowing and then being able to go down and hug my kids.”

Local officials like Ouachita Parish Police Jury president Shane Smiley says it’s great people like Underwood can come out and get those answers, so we can know where stand in northeast Louisiana with COVID-19.

“The reason that we’re getting to phase 1 is we have been doing our part for quite some time, and I would encourage everyone to continue to do that,” Smiley says.

Results are expected to take three to five days. Underwood is hoping for a negative result so he can see his kids and grandkids he hasn’t seen in more than a month while he’s been quarantining.

If he does test positive, Underwood is hopeful he can help someone else. “If I did test positive, from what I’ve been seeing on TV, having the antibodies may be able to help someone else,” Underwood says. “If that is the case, I’d like to be able to do that.”

As he waits, Underwood is encouraging others to get tested too. “God bless and get tested.”

Testing also began in Morehouse, Union, Franklin and Jackson Parishes.

Click here for the list of all COVID-19 mobile testing locations and times in northeast Louisiana.