Dr. Brandy Ricard-Watson

Dr. Brandy Ricard-Watson

Anderson County has opened a COVID-19 rapid testing clinic at the Palestine Civic Center.

The clinic is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and Saturday at 1819 W. Spring St.

Testing will be done on anyone that has been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19 or personally has had symptoms for no longer than the seven previous days.

Testing is not allowed for healthy patients seeking negative tests for travel or to return to work.

Please bring some form of ID.

At the clinic, you must arrive in a car wearing a mask and remain there during the testing and results process which may take up to 30 minutes. No one in the vehicle is allowed to exit the vehicle.

Online registration is required. You can log onto http://tinyurl.com/COV2RapidTest or call 903-724-2803 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. for assistance with registration.

You can also get COVID-19 testing at your doctor’s office, medical clinics and CVS.

Last week, to help alleviate the strain on local hospitals, Anderson County opened up a COVID-19 infusion center in the Anderson County Civic Center.

These infusions, monoclonal antibody therapeutics, are a treatment for persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have to be administered within a particular time frame from when a person contracted the virus. It is primarily delivered through a one-dose intravenous infusion and takes about 25 minutes with an hour of observation for reactions. These products have been shown to reduce the need for hospitalization for eligible patients with mild to moderate symptoms, but these treatments are most beneficial when they are given to patients early in symptom progression.

According to Dr. Brandy Ricard-Watson, the Anderson County Health Advisor, volunteers are needed for both the infusion clinic and rapid testing clinic.

“We desperately need help,” Watson said.

To sign up to volunteer log onto https://tinyurl.com/InfusionCenterStaff.

COVID-19 cases continue to escalate in Anderson County and the surrounding area. As of Friday there were 354 case of COVID-19 in Anderson County.

According to County Judge Robert Johnston, Palestine Regional Medical Center continues to work at capacity with no available beds in its ICU. Patients that need to be in ICU are on hold in the emergency room and the hospital is still on diversion for outside transfers. The hospital has cancelled all non-emergency surgery until further notice.

Watson urges everyone to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control including getting vaccinated, wearing masks and social distancing.

CVS, Walgreens, Brookshire’s and Kroger's pharmacies all have the vaccines available throughout the week. If you are looking for a specific vaccine, you need to call ahead and ensure they have the particular one you want at a specific location. All three vaccines are available locally.

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