Ever since the Williamson County Health Department had moved its COVID-19 testing site to the Williamson County Ag Expo Park (AG Center), the number of tests performed has skyrocketed.
As of Monday, May 11, the health department has conducted 4,762 COVID-19 tests - news that was shared by county health director Cathy Montgomery Monday during a meeting of the Williamson County Commission.
“Local health departments began testing for COVID-19 in mid-March, and [with] this disaster, of course, the first case was identified in Williamson County,” Montgomery said. “During that time from about mid-March to about mid-April, we were testing approximately 15-20 individuals at our local health department for COVID-19.”
Montgomery explained how during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic in Tennessee from early to mid-March, COVID-19 testing was restricted to systematic individuals, or those displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
It would be until Gov. Bill Lee lifted those restrictions in mid-March to include the testing of asymptomatic patients, however, that the number of tests conducted by the health department exploded in scope.
“When the governor lifted the restrictions from systematic individuals to asymptomatic, he asked that every local health department in the state provide testing on Saturday, April 18,” Montgomery said.
“We tested at our local health department on that day 668 tests. I can tell you, we learned a lot of lessons. We immediately moved our operations to the AG Center on Monday, April 20, and were able to begin testing by noon on that day.”
Those tests at the AG Center are still being conducted for any Williamson County resident, free of charge. The health department will also be distributing 10,000 free cloth masks at the AG Center, with residents able to opt for just a mask, a test, or both.
The Ag Center is located at 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, Tenn., 37064.