Drive-thru testing now offered on West Bank

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020

WALLACE — A second COVID-19 testing site has opened on the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish.

The new drive-thru site is at the Wallace Fire Station, 5733 LA Hwy. 18 in Vacherie, near the Veterans Memorial Bridge. It will be open until further notice from 8 a.m. to noon or until the daily capacity of 50 tests is reached, according to St. John the Baptist Parish President Jaclyn Hotard.

This is a self-testing site for individuals over the age of 18 where they are required to perform a nasal swab test on themselves to limit interaction with personnel. Instructions on how to perform the test are administered and monitored on-site by healthcare professionals.

The testing site, made possible through a partnership between St. John Parish government, the Louisiana Office of Public Health and Access Health, is open to residents of any parish. No appointment is necessary, and insurance is not required. All patients must remain in their cars.

Hotard asks that residents leave their pets at home and refrain from bringing extra people to the testing site.

Testing is also offered on the West Bank of St. John at Teche Action Clinic in Edgard on Tuesday and Friday.

“We have found out that additional testing capacity gives us a better look at what is happening in our community,” Hotard said. “It helps us to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

Though the daily rate of new cases appears to be flattening, Hotard reminded the public that the battle is not over.

“We ask that our residents and businesses continue to take simple steps at home to help us flatten the curve,” she said. “We cannot let up. We have to remain diligent.”

Councilman at-large Lennix Madere said improved testing capacity is a step in the right direction.

“This effort is not only to flatten the curve. We want to straighten it out,” Madere said. “If everyone works with the administration and with the government and follows all of the guidelines in place, we can accomplish this goal.”

At this time, no St. John the Baptist Parish employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Parish officials are continuing to sanitize all employee vehicles and workspaces, provide personal protective equipment and limit cross-contamination. Those who can work from home are doing so, Hotard said.

She reminded residents to report any incidents of businesses in non-compliance with the Stay at Home order, promising “swift action.”