COVID-19

Health officials are continuing to encourage the public to get tested for COVID-19 as infection numbers continue to increase.

On Thursday morning, the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Office announced local health departments’ testing times for Monday through Friday.

With increasing transmission of coronavirus, Regional Medical Director David Kirschke said it’s important for anyone with symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath to get tested and isolate themselves at home for at least 10 days.

“We also recommend testing for persons with a combination of less common symptoms such as fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea and vomiting or diarrhea unless there is another known cause,” he said. “There are also some circumstances we don’t recommend testing. We do not recommend testing to return to work after being positive, but rather that cases should isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days.”

He said many asymptomatic people may not need to be tested unless recommended by public health officials as part of an outbreak investigation or as routine testing of nursing home staff.

Kirschke said there are some misconceptions about testing.

“If a person is identified as a contact to a case and 14-day quarantine is ordered, a negative test will not shorten the length of quarantine or allow return to work or school,” he said, adding that some employers are advising testing.

“Contacts with fever or symptoms should get tested and would likely be considered a probable case even if not tested and isolated for 10 days.”

Most locations are encouraging those who wish to be tested to pre-register with their health departments, but pre-registration at Carter and Washington County are not encouraged for drive-through testing.

The locations and times are as follows:

Carter County: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the corner of East G Street and Holston Avenue, Elizabethton (423-543-2521)

Hancock County: 2-3 p.m. at 178 Willow St., Sneedville (423-733-2228)

Hawkins County-Rogersville: 9-11 a.m. at 201 Park Blvd., Rogersville (423-272-7641)

Unicoi County: 9-11 a.m. at 101 Okolona Drive, Erwin (423-743-9103)

Greene County: 9 a.m.-noon at 810 W. Church St., Greeneville (423-798-1749)

Hawkins County-Church Hill: 10-11 a.m. at 247 Silver Lake Road, Church Hill (423-357-5341)

Johnson County: 9-11:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. at 715 W. Main St., Mountain City (423-727-9731)

Washington County: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 219 Princeton Road, Johnson City (423-975-2200)