NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Self-administered COVID-19 tests will now be offered at Tennessee Department of Health testing sites three days a week.

Starting today, the new self-tests will be offered at those sites to adults over the age of 18 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

The health department hopes the move will allow staff members to transition from administering COVID-19 tests to vaccinating frontline health workers. 

Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said the state health department collects on average only 16 percent of all COVID-19 tests statewide, and that the change to self-testing won’t affect the wide availability of testing through private providers in Tennessee.

“While the arrival of vaccines is welcome, it is imperative that we not let up on basic best practices and continue to protect each other by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and staying home when sick,” Dr. Piercey said.

However, President and CEO of Meharry Medical College Dr. James Hildreth is urging Governor Bill Lee to reconsider the state’s testing strategy. 

“Cutting back on testing in face of record surges in COVID-19 cases is puzzling,” Dr. Hildreth wrote in a tweet. 

If you choose to self-test you will fill out paperwork in your car at the testing site, before administering the test and collecting your samples. The health department will then submit the samples for testing.

Adults that opt to use the self-tests will register and receive their results online.

Children and those who can’t register will still be able to take a nasal test on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Local county health departments will continue to offer COVID-19 testing five days a week, unless specifically noted. 

More information from the TN Department of Health can be found here

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