MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the number of positive COVID cases continue to skyrocket in our community, more and more people are eager to be tested for the Omicron variant.
For many, however, getting to a COVID test site is next to impossible. Especially for those who are homebound or in assisted living facilities.
One Memphis home health care company is meeting the ever-growing need with mobile COVID testing.
“We call this our mobile clinic. Everything that we use in a doctor’s office, we have in these vans,” Lajoy Ellis said.
LaJoy Ellis is with Internal Health and Medical Services in Germantown, a mobile primary care group with certified nurse practitioners and doctors. Ellis is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the program.
“We provide primary care for individual home bound patients…also independent living, assisted living facilities as well,” Ellis said.
She said the demand for mobile COVID-19 testing has reached an “all time high” and these health care providers hit the streets daily taking COVID-19 tests to those with limited or no means of transportation…
Thursday, we followed an IHMS crew to Serenity Towers at Highland. It’s an independent living high rise where about thirty residents came for a nasal swab Covid test.
IHMS sends the tests to an independent lab and typically gets test results in 24 to 48 hours.
“And then we will reach out to the patient, whether they are negative or positive and we will let them know their results,” Ellis said.
If someone tests positive, providers with IHMS arrange for “follow up” treatment. Persons either insured or uninsured are covered under these services.
Staff at Serenity Towers at Highland say the mobile COVID-19 testing is the best answer for residents who want to stay clear of the virus.
“A lot of our residents don’t drive, and a lot of the tests are ‘drive up’ sites. So, in addition to them being elderly, some can’t walk. So, this is a great benefit for them,” Marquita Brown, a Service Coordinator at Serenity Towers, told us.
Some facilities also set up bi-weekly COVID-19 testing to make sure COVID-19 numbers stay down or to catch positive cases before the virus spreads throughout a facility.
The Shelby County Health Department also has nurses who go out to give home bound residents Covid-19 shots.
It’s as simple as calling 222-SHOT (7468) to make an appointment.