Hamilton County offers a new drive thru Covid-19 testing facility


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton County will up its COVID-19 testing with a new drive thru testing facility, with the help of the Tennessee National Guard.

It will be at the Riverfront Parkway Emissions Testing Center at 1620 Riverfront Parkway.

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This one will operate on weekends, only (8:30AM-12:30PM).

The Bonnyshire facility will continue offering tests during the week.

You don’t need a referral or symptoms to get tested now at either location.

But you do need to call ahead to make an appointment.

The number is 209-8393.

The new Riverfront site will operate over the next two weekends, and then they will  determine if it needs to continue.

Like the Bonnyshire samples, all samples collected at the Riverfront site will be processed at the Hamilton County Laboratory at Baylor School.

The new site is a partnership between the Chattanooga Police Department, Opus Inspection Inc., Tennessee National Guard, and Tennessee Department of Health.

“Thanks to this new partnership with the Tennessee National Guard, we are expanding the capacity to do more community testing,” says Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes.

The state hoped to offer drive thru testing over last weekend, but the tornado recovery forced a postponement.

Hamilton County has lagged behind the other major counties in the state for COVID-19 testing to this point.

While Hamilton is the fourth largest county in the state, it ranks 9th in testing according to the last state numbers.  Knox County has tested almost double the amount of people here.

Here is the rankings of completed tests according to the state Health Dept.

  1. Shelby (Memphis)  12, 695
  2. Davidson (Nashville) 11,048
  3. Knox (Knoxville) 3,340
  4. Williamson (Franklin)  3,281
  5. Rutherford (Murfreesboro) 2,958
  6. Sumner (Hendersonville)  2,627
  7. Montgomery (Clarkesville) 1,832
  8. Wilson (Lebanon) 1,808
  9. Hamilton (Chattanooga) 1,668
  10. Putnam (Cookeville) 1,164