The Mena-based nonprofit Healthy Connections, which works with the Community Health Centers of Arkansas, is taking a mobile health unit around the state to provide free testing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Patients will not have to be symptomatic to get a test, and will not have to provide insurance information at the mobile sites.
Jeffrey Slatton, Healthy Connections spokesman, said the company believes it can do 600 tests a week. It has a standing order for the tests, which will be processed by LabCorp. Result times vary; the increase in testing nationwide has slowed results from reference labs like LabCorp to seven to 10 days on average, Slatton said. Patients will need to provide contact information to get test results.
In Little Rock, Healthy Connections will test from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, in the parking lot of the Franklin Community Health Center, formerly Franklin Elementary School, 1723 Harrison St.
The popup clinic will go first to Malvern, where it will be in the Teeter Plaza parking lot on Wednesday, May 27. Testing continues Thursday, May 28, in Hot Springs at the Healthy Connections parking lot at 3604 Central Ave.; Friday, May 29, in Hot Springs Village at 121 Cordoba Drive; and Thursday, June 4, in Arkadelphia at the Arkadelphia Senior Activity Center, 1305 N. 10th St. Slatton said a tentative schedule has been drawn up for the following week. All testing will be done from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Community Health Centers of Arkansas, which operates 12 nonprofit health centers across the state, also does testing at its clinics. It takes Medicaid, Medicare, most private insurance and offers a sliding fee scale for the uninsured.
The federal Health Resources and Services Administration provided funding for the testing program.