1st Choice Healthcare, Inc. continues weekly testing; open to Missouri residents

Wednesday, June 3, 2020
1st Choice Healthcare Inc. began free coronavirus testing on Wednesday, May 20 and is continuing free testing every Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. at each location.

COVID-19 testing has recently increased in the rural communities of Arkansas.

Local healthcare provider, 1st Choice Healthcare Inc., received a federal grant to increase their coronavirus testing capabilities, according to Brigitte McDonald at the Salem the location. 1st Choice Healthcare, Inc. has additional locations in Ash Flat, Corning, Jonesboro, Paragould and Pocahontas.

The healthcare facility began free coronavirus testing on Wednesday, May 20, and plans to continue the testing on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m., at each location, as supplies last and the need presents itself. The Salem location administered 30 tests and Ash Flat administered 87. The total number tested by 1st Choice Healthcare, Inc. on its first testing day was 177.

The facility will also extend its free COVID-19 tests to be given on Saturday, June 6 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Sno-cones and giveaways will also be available for those who come for the drive-thru testing.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced May 4 it would award grants totaling $4,766,433 to 12 Health Resource Services Administration healthcare centers in the state. In addition to expanding testing the money will be used to purchase personal protective equipment, staff training, outreach, procurement and administration of tests and laboratory services. This funding will also support the expansion of drive-up testing capabilities,” said McDonald.

1st Choice Healthcare, Inc. is processing tests through Quest Diagnostics, but are responsible for contacting patients with their results, not the lab.

The testing is open to anyone who would like to be tested, being a patient of the facility is not required, and neither is being an Arkansas resident. Areawide Media asked if the free testing was open to Missouri residents as well, and the answer was yes.

Arkansas Department of Health recently announced Local Health Units would begin administering tests May 18.

As reported by Areawide Media last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently awarded $78 million to Arkansas to expand its testing capacity for COVID-19.

The funding is part of $11 billion from HHS to support nationwide testing for COVID-19 and the reopening of America. The investment will be used to develop, purchase, administer, process and analyze COVID-19 tests as well as contact tracing.

As of Tuesday, May 26 according to the Arkansas Department of Health, Sharp County is listed as having a total of 42 positive cases, 22 recoveries and two deaths. Fulton County is reported at having six confirmed cases and four recovered. Izard County is reported to have 15 positive, with 13 recovered.

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