Wednesday, April 16, a representative of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society misspoke during a press conference when naming Cempa Community Care as a COVID-19 testing site. That is incorrect. We have neither the testing kits nor the personal protective equipment (PPE) to administer such tests. Over the past few weeks, we have, however, been operating as a referral agency for unattached (patients without a primary care physician) and uninsured symptomatic patients who need a physician referral to gain access to county-administered COVID-19 testing. We will continue offering that service, shall it be needed. As COVID-19 shifts the healthcare landscape here in Hamilton County, we are committed to operating as a resource. If our service role changes in the coming days, we will update our staff, patients, media, and the general community of such an alteration.
Currently, there are two COVID-19 testing sites open. Information about both locations can be found below:
Hamilton County Health Department
- How do I schedule an appointment? To access free Health Department testing, interested individuals can call the Health Department at (423) 209-8393 to schedule an appointment.
- Location? Patients then show up at their appointed time to the testing site located at the Emissions Testing Center, 7460 Bonnyshire Drive.
- *When/How will people get their test results? When an individual is tested, whether referred by self or a provider, they are presumed to be positive until they get a negative test result. During this waiting time, the individual is required to return straight home and self-isolate. Test results are usually available in 24 hours.
- If the test result is positive, the Health Department will contact the patient and advise of the next steps and coordinate care. For this reason, it is vitally important to give correct contact information when self-referring an appointment.
- Patients will be notified of negative test results by Health Department staff.
- How do I schedule an appointment? Call Clinica Medicos at 423-760-4000 or arrange a telemedicine visit with one of their physicians via doxy.me/clinicamedicos
- Location? 1300 E 23rd St, Chattanooga, TN 37404
- Does a patient need insurance? No, all COVID-19 testing is free of charge. If a patient has insurance, we will take that information and bill for the services rendered.
- Does a patient need a health care provider? No, we are happy to perform tests on unattached patients.
- Is there a fee for the visit? Is there a fee for the test? No, there is no fee for the visit, although, we may bill patients insurance if they have it depending upon the amount of work we put into the visit.
- What are your testing hours? We will perform tests during our business hours. Monday-Saturday 8:30am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-4pm
- Do people need to arrive in a personal vehicle? Can they arrive on foot? We would prefer they arrive in a personal vehicle with as few occupants as possible. If we are informed beforehand, they can arrive on foot or other transportation. They will still wait outside at the testing area where we have a tent set up and call the clinic. A physician will meet them outside.
- Do you only accept Spanish speaking patients? No, we accept all patients referred by the Health Department, another physician, or those that call in and meet criteria.
- When/How will people get their test results? We are checking our test results a min of 2x daily and notifying the appropriate personnel promptly, if they were referred by another health care provider we are notifying that health care provider, if they are unattached then we are notifying them ourselves directly. We will report all positives to the health department. We are using two labs for testing. Baylor school and LabCorp. Currently, LabCorp is taking 3-4 days. Baylor says they can get results within 24-48 hours. These are just estimates at this time since the ebb and flow of testing changes wait times.