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Virus testing schedule revised

Sunday, May 24, 2020
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There’s been a change in the schedule for next week’s free coronavirus testing in Lincoln Parish.

Dubach and Simsboro have swapped testing days. Testing in Dubach will now be done on Thursday, and testing in Simsboro done on Friday.

The swap was made because of a conflict with Simsboro High School graduation rehearsal, Lincoln Parish Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Kip Franklin said.

The mobile drive-thru testing program begins Tuesday in Choudrant, goes to Grambling on Wednesday, Dubach on Thursday and Simsboro on Friday. Tests will be available in Ruston June 1-5.

Testing at all sites will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the assigned.

The drive-thru selftesting program is part of an attempt to test as many people as possible in the Lincoln Parish-inclusive state health Region 8, Franklin said.

Anyone who wants to be tested for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, must provide documentation that they are a Louisiana resident, at least 18 years old and have a valid Louisiana driver’s license or identification card.

Individuals will remain in their vehicles and will conduct their own nasal swabs. Louisiana National Guard medics will be on hand to instruct and assist with the procedure.

Here’s the revised schedule:

• Tuesday – Choudrant High School, 2555 Highway 80. Enter front school parking lot off Hwy. 80 on west side, exit on Pecan Street on east side.

• Wednesday – Grambling State University performing arts center, 177 Blalock Street Enter on Cole Street off RWE Jones Drive to Hutchinson Performing Arts parking lot, exit on Blalock St. back to RWE Jones.

• Thursday – Dubach High School, 7710 Fellowship Road. Enter front school parking lot off Fellowship Road on east side, exit back to Fellowship Road on west side.

• Friday – Simsboro High School, 114 Tiger Drive. Turn on Tiger Drive (one way street) off Hwy. 80, turn left into new school parking lot, follow horseshoe loop through parking lot, exit left back on Tiger Drive to Second Street or Rose Street.

• June 1-5 – Ruston Sports Complex, 1803 Champions Way. Entry and exit route will be announced closer to the testing dates.

Meantime, the Louisiana Department of Health on Friday reported Lincoln Parish with 133 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. That’s a jump of three cases from Thursday.

The increasing local case numbers LDH has reported over the past few days correlates with the increased testing that began two weeks ago by at least one medical clinic.

It typically takes as long as seven days for test results to come back. Even though the number of confirmed cases continues to climb, the ascent is not as rapid as is the increase in tests.

As of Friday, 1,743 swab tests had been on Lincoln Parish residents. That’s an increase of 457 tests from Tuesday through Friday. But over the time period, confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased only by 11.

The case count is cumulative, meaning it dates back to first cases confirmed in the parish on March 22 and does not break out the current number of active cases or the number of people who presumably have recovered from their illness.

Fourteen parish deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.