Infectious disease expert to Tenn. Gov. Lee: 'reconsider' decision to reduce COVID-19 testing
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- Most Tennessee state health clinics will soon reduce free COVID-19 testing, a move some experts have questioned.
Beginning next week, state health clinics in at least 89 counties will reduce COVID testing to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Authorities say they need to free up health clinic staff to administer the new COVID-19 vaccines. The just released Pfizer vaccine will be distributed to Tennessee hospitals on Thursday.
The state will instead offer free home test kits on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Some health experts have expressed concern about the change, noting that new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all on the rise. The state has recorded more than 21,000 new infections in the last two days alone.
Infectious disease specialist and Meharry Medical College President James Hildreth calls the state’s move “puzzling.” In a social media post yesterday, Dr. Hildreth called on Gov. Bill Lee to “reconsider this decision.”
Testing at Metro Nashville’s health clinics and drive thru sites will continue unchanged.