Health Department Guidance to Refer Patients to Drive-Through Testing

Hamilton County has initiated a COVID-19 drive-through testing service for private physician practices. This letter from the Health Department explains the procedures and provides links for necessary documentation.


March 31, 2020

Dear Healthcare Provider,

The Health Department is beginning drive through testing for COVID-19 on a small scale. We will scale up testing as supplies and laboratory capacity allows.

We will only test symptomatic people who have gone through triage/screening by their private provider. Due to the nature of drive through testing, we can only test cooperative patients 14 y/o and older.

Our goal is to identify positive patients in the community and aggressively do contact tracing.

We ask that you refer patients to the Health Department, who have been screened and determined to need testing.

Referrals may be made by phone at 423-209-8393 or email at See the attached form for information that we will need to schedule the testing appointment. If you call, please have all the information at hand. If you prefer email, complete the form, scan it and send it to us.

Once the Health Department receives the referral, staff will then call the person, preregister them, and give them an appointment time to go to the testing site.

Anyone referred for testing will be presumed to be positive until a negative test is received. Once tested, we will give them them a Letter of Isolation. This requires their restricted movement until they receive a negative test.

We will expect that the person has already been given this directive from you, since ordering the test presumes infectivity. Once they present and are tested, it will be an official order from our Health Officer.

All positive tests will be reported to the ordering provider verbally and followed with a secure emailing of the lab report.

Negative tests will be reported in a secure email to the ordering provider.

Patient notification of positive and negative results and any needed medical follow-up is the provider’s responsibility.

Patients who test positive will also be contacted immediately by Health Department staff to begin an investigation and contact tracing.

Thank you for partnering with us to meet this critical need in our community!


Becky Barnes, RN, Administrator

Paul M. Hendricks, MD, Health Officer


More Posts

2023 Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine

The Chattanooga and Hamilton County Medical Society and Medical Foundation of Chattanooga recently concluded the 2023 Youth Leadership Forum (YLF).  The program encourages rising high

TMA MATE Act Education Course

Beginning June 27, prescribers with a DEA license must complete eight hours of education on the treatment and management of patients with substance use disorders

Champions of Health Care Nominations

Know a health care champion? Nominate them for a Champions of Health Care award. The Chattanooga Times Free Press, in conjunction with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County