Jefferson County allocates $6.4 million for COVID-19 testing


JeffCO 1 Jefferson County allocates $6.4 million for COVID-19 testing
Several places in the County offer drive-up testing. Photo via UAB MHRC

Jefferson County is ramping up COVID-19 testing, particularly in underserved areas. Find out where the money is going, how to find testing locations, answers to circulating rumors and more right here.

The Latest Updates

JeffCo 2 Jefferson County allocates $6.4 million for COVID-19 testing
It’ll be interesting to see how teachers, parents and students get creative with virtual learning this fall. Photo via Jefferson County

The state of things changes quickly during a national emergency. Jefferson County consolidates all their most recent information on this page, and it’s a great resource if you’re wanting to keep up.

These last few days alone have brought some big stories. On July 29, Governor Kay Ivey extended the statewide mask ordinance until August 31. Birmingham City Schools announced they’ll be starting the school year with fully virtual learning.

Here’s how to get your hands on the latest information:

$6.4 Million Allocated—Where’s it Headed?

JeffCo 3 Jefferson County allocates $6.4 million for COVID-19 testing
Jefferson County’s COVID-19 cleaning crew, that cleans throughout the courthouse daily. Photo via Jefferson County

On July 23, the Jefferson County Commission voted to allocate up to $6.4 million in
CARES Act funding, to increase COVID-19 testing in the county, particularly in underserved communities.

Here’s what the money will be used for:

  • Enabling the University of Alabama at Birmingham Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center to expand its testing operations throughout the county.
  • Funding eight mobile testing teams throughout Jefferson County, with a goal of performing 50,000 COVID-19 tests before the end of the year.
  • Purchasing additional testing equipment for UAB laboratories to meet testing demand and support outreach to the community to improve participation.

The effort is a partnership between the MHRC, Live HealthSmart Alabama, UAB Medicine and Cooper Green Mercy Health Services Authority.

“The Jefferson County Commission understands how critical more testing is to both combat COVID-19 and provide for the health of our citizens.

UAB’s Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center working with Cooper Green is a perfect combination to reach the citizens in the county who are most underserved and hard to reach when it comes to COVID-19.

This is important work that needs to be done to help prevent further community spread — especially as we head into the fall and winter months.”

Jimmie Stephens, Jefferson County Commission President

Need a COVID Test?

JeffCo4 Jefferson County allocates $6.4 million for COVID-19 testing
Testing locations have a lot of different looks. Photo via Jefferson County

This website is your one-stop-shop in Jefferson County for COVID-19 related resources. It’s headed up by the Unified Command Center and its partner agencies: The Jefferson County Commission, Jefferson County Department of Health, EMA, UAB, City of Birmingham, City of Hoover, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham Housing Authority and more.

If you need to be tested or think you may have been exposed, this page has all the information you need. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Map of the COVID-19 testing locations in the state.
  • List of the testing locations in Jefferson County.
  • Address of each location.
  • Testing eligibility by location. Drive-up? Appointment only? Walk-ins welcome?
  • Insurance + payment info.
  • Hours of operation by location.

COVID-19 in JeffCo: The Facts

CA8A1688 scaled Jefferson County allocates $6.4 million for COVID-19 testing
Mask up, Bham! Photo via Jefferson County

As we’ve all seen over the past few months, the rumors are still flying when it comes to this pandemic. The Joint Command rounded up some of the rumors that are specific to Jefferson County and fact-checked them.

You can see the full list here, but we pulled a few as a preview:

  • Rumor: I’ve heard in Jefferson County that if one family member tests positive, the entire family is counted in the County’s total number, and that is what is inflating our numbers.
  • Not True: Jefferson County’s numbers represents the first time a person tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Rumor: Hospitals in Jefferson County are out of bed space for COVID patients.
  • Not True at this time: While the number of patients at local hospitals is high, our hospitals do have surge plans in place. The County also has plans for a surge hospital if needed. Staffing and personal protective equipment remain in issue and increases in COVID-19 patients leave less room for patients with non-COVID illness.
  • Rumor: If I get the virus, I will be immune and can’t get it again.
  • Unknown: Recent studies show that the antibodies created from having the virus may only last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. More research is needed to establish if antibodies to the virus continue to circulate in the bloodstream following recovery. It is a major concern among health professionals. The antibodies may not provide long-term protection.

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest info? Bookmark this page or like Jefferson County on Facebook to keep up. Stay safe out there, Bham!

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Beth Cunningham
Beth Cunningham

A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.

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