Highlands COVID-19 testing site moving from Grandview to Grants Mill

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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BIRMINGHAM – COVID-19 testing held at Church of the Highland’s Grandview Campus on Monday will move to the church’s Grants Mill Campus on Wednesday, March 18.

Tuesday, March 17, was the first day of testing at the Grandview site, and motorists trying to reach the testing location stalled U.S. 280 in both directions for hours.

“In order to serve our state and more people even better, we’re going to move to our largest location [March 18], and we will have the same setup taking place at our Grants Mill location,” Highlands Associate Pastor Layne Schranz said during a press conference on March 17. “Throughout the day today, we were able to improve our processes. As we moved through it today, we got better and better, processes and systems got faster and faster, and we expect that we will take what we learned today at our Grandview location and even improve upon it tomorrow to maximize our ability to test as many people as possible in the coming days, and we will re-evaluate that each day to continue to serve our state.”

Officials asked those wishing to be tested on March 18 to line up at the new location no earlier than 6:30 a.m.

Testing will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue until resources are depleted.

The testing is being offered in conjunction with Assurance Scientific and Christ Health Center.

Robert Record, CEO of Christ Health and family physician, said he knew last week that testing was needed but not available in Alabama.

“We’ve had patients we thought were COVID-19 positive. As of Friday afternoon, we could not give one test for one patient,” Record said.

After a weekend trying to administer tests with the resources on hand, Record said Highlands offered the use of their facility.

“We know if we can test people, we can identify disease, isolate people and stop disease from spreading as fast to give us time to catch up,” Record said. “This is the little piece of the puzzle we can solve. Last week I tested zero; today I tested hundreds. Thank God for that.”

About 400 tests were administered on March 17, Record said, and they are awaiting results—but the laboratory the tests are sent to are also receiving tests from around the country.

Record said only those who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, including fever and coughing, or have been in close, personal contact with someone diagnosed, should get tested, to ensure enough tests are available for vulnerable demographics.

“We need to make sure the person most in need gets the testing first,” he said.

Church of the Highlands Grants Mill Campus is located at 4700 Highlands Way, Birmingham.

Find resources about COVID-19, including other options if you think you are infected, at AlabamaPublicHealth.gov.

Schranz thanked Highlands volunteers and supporters and the medical community for making testing possible.