Walmart, Quest to open COVID testing site in Fort Smith

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 779 views 

A new COVID-19 drive-thru testing site will open Tuesday (April 28) at Fort Smith Park, 5301 Riverfront Drive, thanks to a partnership between Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and the city of Fort Smith.

The site, also supported by the State of Arkansas and Mayor George McGill, will test those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 as well as all health care providers and first responders. Even though Walmart is sponsor of the testing, testing will not be available in Walmart stores, a press release on the site said.

“Walmart is part of the community, and we are proud to help support the expansion of COVID-19 testing in Fort Smith during this unprecedented time,” said Michael Lindsey, Walmart public affairs director for Arkansas. “We are grateful to our associates who keep our stores running, our pharmacists who support these testing sites, and to Quest Diagnostics and local officials as we work together to open the site and help our community.”

The site will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, weather permitting. However, the site will only test those who have made an appointment through Quest’s MyQuestTM online portal and app, Quest will screen and schedule appointments for those who meet medical eligibility for the testing sites, the press release said. On-site scheduling will be available for those who need assistance with scheduling.

Those being tested, should stay in their car once they are onsite for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and self-administered test. For the safety of all those on-site, the test site is not available to those who walk up.

The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly. Those being tested will then drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site. Quest Diagnostics will process test samples and communicate results to those tested and applicable departments of health.

For information, call Quest at (866) 448-7719, Monday through Friday. The site will be staffed by volunteers, including Walmart health care professionals and Quest employees.