Today's Paper State News Hutchinson 2024 LEARNS Guide Newsletters Opinion Sports Obits Games Archive Notices Core Values

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock closes covid-19 testing site

by Teresa Moss | March 9, 2023 at 4:28 a.m.
A covid testing sign directs drivers waiting in line to get a free covid-19 self-test at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Citing declining demand, a drive-thru clinic in Central Arkansas that once saw hundreds of people a day recently became the latest covid-19 testing site to shut down.

Before it closed, the drive-thru site at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock was seeing less than 10 people a day, hospital spokeswoman Cara Wade said.

She said in January 2022 the site broke a record with 1,726 people swabbed in one day.

"The declining numbers are most likely due to the accessibility of at-home tests as well as reduced cases in the state," Wade said.

Wade said the hospital is able to quickly reopen the testing site if the area sees a surge in cases.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences closed its drive-thru testing site on the UAMS campus in March 2022 for similar reasons.

"As the number of covid infections continue to drop in Arkansas, we no longer need these covid-specific areas and can meet the demand for vaccines and testing in other ways," said Steppe Mette, M.D., CEO of the UAMS Medical Center and senior vice chancellor of UAMS Health said in a news release when the site shut down.

"Closing the vaccine clinic and the drive-thru will allow us to redeploy our workers to areas where they are needed more."

As of Wednesday, UAMS was not offering any public testing services. It does still provide testing at its family and primary care clinics and in the hospital and emergency room, Leslie Taylor, hospital spokeswoman said.

While hospitals have rolled back services, the state Department of Health still provides testing at all of its local health units. The federal government site also features a list of pharmacies and other providers that offer testing.

The Health Department has tracked more than 8 million covid-19 tests since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

There have been 1,006,622 cases of covid-19 reported in Arkansas, with 286 new cases and 2,659 active cases reported Wednesday.

The state has also reported 13,015 deaths from covid-19 since March 2020.

Print Headline: Baptist Health closes covid test drive-thru


Sponsor Content