OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Coronavirus testing is expanding and changing in the Oklahoma City metro area.
The Oklahoma City-County Heath Department is no longer operating their testing location at the state fairgrounds but they are opening new sites throughout the city.
There is hope this will help reach all communities.
“The under-served communities, especially black and brown communities who have been really hit hard by COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions and health disparities,” said Rep. Jason Lowe (D) District 97. “We’ve got to make sure those communities get served, there’s access.”
Jason Lowe is a state representative; he’s also a coronavirus survivor.
“Felt like a truck hit me,” Lowe recalled.
Representative Lowe has been vocal about his recovery and push to protect others.
“It’s far from over,” he said. “We need more testing in Oklahoma, we need to make sure to social distance. We need to continue by all CDC guidelines.”
Included in that a need for more testing.The first major testing site in Oklahoma City was the one at the state fairgrounds run by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.
In 9 weeks, more than 7,300 tests were administered there.
This week that location closed – but with new drive-thru locations opening, including some run by the health department and some by Walmart in several of their their parking lots, the hope is to reach folks in all areas of the city.
“We had always wanted to do that and we had helped out in some pop-up swabbing locations in Northeast Oklahoma City and we helped out some other locations in south,” said Ken Johnson with the Oklahoma City-County Health Dept.
As for the Oklahoma City – County Health Department, their tests are by appointment only – and available to anyone.
“The accessibility is really important and with our relaxed criteria more people can come in and get tested if they’re not feeling well or just want to put their mind at ease,” Johnson said.
The number to call to make an appointment with the city county health department is (405)425-4489.
Currently, the health department’s testing site at its Southern Oaks location at 6728 S. Hudson Avenue operates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
OCCHD will start offering drive-thru testing beginning Monday, June 1 at the Northeast Regional Health and Wellness Campus parking lot at 2600 NE 63rd from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and the Southern Oaks Campus will sync with the same hours as well.
The University of Oklahoma Health Center offers testing by appointment only by calling the OU Medicine Hotline at (405) 271-7774, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The testing site is 1000 N.E. 10th Street in Oklahoma City.