Fred’s in Tigerland hosts drive-thru COVID-19 screenings for local college students

Hundreds tested for COVID-19 at Fred's after outbreak in Tigerland

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Two healthcare companies, Relief Telemed and Neighborhood Health, partnered with Fred’s bar to offer drive-thru COVID-19 screenings Thursday (June 25) to local college students and bar staff who work in Tigerland.

Organizers say roughly 200 cars passed through the drive-thru testing site in the parking lot during the seven-hour window, many carrying multiple college students seeking a test for an active infection.

The push to check students comes a week after the Louisiana Department of Health declared an outbreak connected to a night out at the bars near LSU’s campus. Young people ages 18-29 now account for the majority of Louisianans who’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

“You contract it here and then you get tested for it here, so it’s like full-circle,” Johnathan Pham, a recent LSU grad taking a test, said.

Students will get their test results via email in two to four days.

“It’s ironic because everyone got it in Tigerland and so now they’re testing to be like, ‘Oh, sorry,‘” Savannah Merhar, an LSU student taking a test with a friend, said.

The screenings were open to all college students at least 18 years old with a valid college ID. Students without health insurance got the test for free.

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When students arrived at the testing site, organizers ask them to remain in their cars through the duration of the nasal swab test.

“I can’t say that this is the only place where all these outbreaks are happening, but I think it’s nice that they’re taking the initiative to have the testing done,” recent LSU graduate Allison Brassette said before her test. “Especially here at this location because it’s convenient for students.”

Fred’s in Tigerland provided logistical support, Neighborhood Health provided onsite healthcare providers, and Relief Telemed provided onsite nursing staff and the technology to operate a testing facility.

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“With an increasing number of younger adults testing positive for the virus, we wanted to bring together partners who could offer large scale testing to as many college-aged students as possible.”, says Vishal Vasanji, Co-founder and CEO of Relief Telemed.

“Through our Relief Telemed platform, we have become the leading provider of onsite COVID testing solutions to employers and schools. Tigerland is an integral piece of the college community in Baton Rouge, and we wanted to do something to keep that community safe,” Vasanji said.

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