Hammond residents get free COVID-19 testing at the University Center


Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion's Roar

A member of the Louisiana National Guard helps administer the nasal swab test. The free COVID-19 testing at the University Center was organized through a joint collaboration between Tangipahoa Parish Government, Louisiana National Guard and Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health.

Residents of Hammond had an opportunity to test for COVID-19 for free at the University Center.

COVID-19 mobile testing was available for residents of Louisiana from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24. The testing was organized in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Public Health, Tangipahoa Parish Government and Louisiana National Guard. 

The testing was conducted through a drive-thru and the site was staffed by the members of the Louisiana National Guard. 

Louisiana National Guard Sergeant First Class Jason O’Quinn informed that a total of 268 people conducted the test, and 253 vehicles drove through the site.

A self-administered nasal swab test was performed by the visitors while being observed by a trained medical volunteer from LA National Guard. 

“We have actual medics that are conducting the test, and these are trained medics through the United States Army,” said O’Quinn. “They all go through medical training, and every training we go through goes through the United States Army.”

According to the Tangipahoa Parish Government website, once the results for the tests are received, the Office of Public Health will contact the individuals who tested to communicate the results and share information. 

O’Quinn was happy with the turnout and for the services, they were able to offer. 

“We didn’t really know what to expect,” said O’Quinn. “We’ve had high turnout numbers the past four days. The numbers that we did today was the most that we’ve done in our region at a single event. We did not expect that large of a group, but we are very satisfied with it, and we’re happy that a lot of people came out to get tested and to use the service we were able to provide.”

More free COVID 19 tests in Tangipahoa parish are scheduled in the following dates:

Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at Trinity Baptist Church located on 42062 Pumpkin Center Road, Hammond, LA

Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at Greater Temple Baptist located at 912 Avenue G, Kentwood, LA

Thursday, July 2, 2020, at Bedico Baptist Church located at 28156 LA-22, Ponchatoula, LA


Editor’s note: Updated for additional information. 06/29/2020