Talladega Superspeedway entrance hosts COVID-19 testing clinic

Talladega Superspeedway entrance hosts COVID-19 testing clinic
COVID-19 testing at Talladega Superspeedway. (Source: Dixon Hayes/WBRC)

TALLADEGA, Ala. (WBRC) - Cars lined up Friday at the Talladega Superspeedway, but not for a race.

The Alabama Department of Public Health set up a screening site for COVID-19 at the entrance to the speedway.

Healthcare workers wore masks and in many cases, protective face shields, as they swabbed people who lined up for the tests.

The people who were swabbed first had to make it past a screening tent, to see if they fit the criteria.

"They screen every client that wants to be tested, to meet the criteria. If they don't meet the criteria, we have to turn them away today. And that's part of resource preservation. And you know, there's a limited supply of testing kits, there's a limited supply of personal protective equipment," says Robbie Stubbs, Emergency Preparedness Director for the Northeastern District of ADPH.

That criteria includes symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath), whether the person might have a previous condition leaving them immuno-compomised, and people 65 years or older.

They've done these clinics throughout the state, to get into as many counties as they can. This one was intended to serve North Talladega County residents as well as Calhoun County and residents of Riverside and Pell City.

This one comes after a similar drive-thru clinic was held Wednesday in Sylacauga, itself meant to serve residents from Clay and Coosa Counties as well as South Talladega County. That one attracted 84 clients.

"We're trying to place these, because we don't have the resources to do them in every county, to benefit counties around each county. And that's going on statewide," Stubbs said.

Health workers say they have to limit tests to people who fit specific criteria because of a limited number of tests, and of personal protective equipment for the workers.

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