Chickasaw Nation opens virus testing sites

Michael Smith

Southern Oklahoma has additional COVID-19 test sites at three Chickasaw Nation healthcare facilities. Temporary testing centers are available to most members of the general public at clinics in Ardmore and Purcell and the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada.

“We are here to not only serve the Chickasaw people, but the public at large as needed,” said Chickasaw Nation Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Krueger in a Friday statement. “We want to keep our community healthy and do our part to fight this pandemic with a warrior mentality.”

The sites are all located in parking lots and patients will not need to leave their vehicles to be tested. Locations will be open each weekday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. where tents stocked with medical equipment will keep potentially ill patients away from others, according to the statement.

People using the drive-thru test sites must meet certain criteria, including COVID-19 symptoms and valid photo identification. Walk-ups and bicycles will not be allowed, and anyone under 18-years-old will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Once official results are returned after an average five to seven days, tested patients will be notified. The Chickasaw Nation has also established a COVID-19 Hotline to help assess patients over the phone. The COVID-19 hotline can be reached by calling (580) 272-1312.

The Oklahoma Department of Health is asking that anyone concerned about possible exposure or symptoms call the Coronavirus Call Center at (877) 215-8336 or 2-1-1. If symptoms become severe or do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, people should contact their doctor by phone for further instructions.