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C.E. Roy to re-open as COVID-19 testing site

City of Hattiesburg resuming COVID-19 testing at C.E. Roy Community Center.
City of Hattiesburg resuming COVID-19 testing at C.E. Roy Community Center.(Hopewell Schools)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 12:08 PM CDT
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From City of Hattiesburg Communications

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – With the recent surge in corona virus infection and detection, the City of Hattiesburg and its medical partners will be re-opening a twice-a-week community testing site.

The C.E. Roy Community Center, 300 E. Fifth St., will serve as a free testing site on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

The testing service will resume Saturday.

“New infection numbers are among the highest since this began,” Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said. “We appreciate Hattiesburg Clinic and Forrest Health for meeting this specific need of our community.

“I encourage all citizens to use this testing site to detect infection and quarantine as soon as possible.”

To be tested, no appointment is necessary. Masks are required and patient check-in will take place in front of C.E. Roy Community Center under a tent.

Patients will provide a phone number at check-in, then wait inside a vehicle until the time to receive the test.

“The last several weeks prove that this pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Bryan Batson, Hattiesburg Clinic chief executive officer. “As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, our staff and personnel are working tirelessly to test and provide quarantine protocols to the community where needed most.

“To help with this, it makes the most sense to come back to C.E. Roy Community Center.”

The community center has served as a vaccination clinic on three prior occasions. In late June 2021, the service was phased out due to a lack of demand.

During a press conference earlier in the week, Batson stated that the Hattiesburg Clinic system averaged 30-50 patients per week in the months of May and June 2021. The week of July 19, they diagnosed 469 cases. As of Wednesday, the week of July 26 already included 280 diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

“No one wants to be here again, and I hope the numbers we’ve seen in our community over the last several weeks draw a clearer picture for those who have not been vaccinated to get their shot,” Barker said.

Batson said the best action to take a stand against COVID-19 “continues to be the vaccine.

“While no vaccine is 100 percent, which is what we’ve said from the beginning, they do remain our best way to slow the spread of this deadly virus. It prevents infection and is extremely effective in reducing the severity of the disease, risk of hospitalization and risk of death.

“If you’re on the fence about the vaccine, please talk with a trusted health care professional about your concerns and make an appointment.”

Copyright 2021 WDAM. All rights reserved.