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Tennessee Army and Air National Guardsmen help with COVID-19 testing in rural areas

Posted at 10:54 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 23:54:08-04

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (WTVF) — The governor’s goal of testing as many people as possible for COVID-19 is a particular challenge for rural areas, but the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard is helping out in many rural Tennessee counties to make it happen.

One group of guardsmen was deployed to a free COVID-19 testing site in Robertson County.

"That’s what we’re doing to meet the goal of testing as many as we can, as many as needed," said Sgt. Steven True of the Army National Guard.

Officials say the Springfield location was particularly busy on Wednesday, conducting tests almost non-stop. It’s a relatively quick two-step process. First, the patient fills out a screening sheet for contact information, then the test itself.

"When they move forward, the test is a nasal swab," True said. "It is uncomfortable, I'll tell you that."

Staff say it's critical that those who receive tests quarantine themselves from the time they take the test, until they get the results.

"We’re here to support and protect Tennesseans because we are Tennesseans as well," True said.