Worker at Meharry Medical College holds up directional signage during the first day of COVID-19 testing at the Meharry assessment site.

Article Submitted

NASHVILLE, TN — A Drive-up COVID-19 assessment site in North Nashville opened Monday on the campus of Meharry Medical College.

Meharry Medical College President Dr. James Hildreth with health care worker at the COVID-19 testing assessment site on the Meharry campus.

The Meharry site located at 918 21st Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37217 is one of several COVID-19 assessment sites organized by the Nashville Metropolitan Government.  

The city is asking potential patients to call the Community Assessment System Hotline at 615-862-7777 before coming out. A medical professional will determine if a patient’s symptoms warrant testing.

Dr. Duane Smoot, Interim Senior Vice President for Health Affairs at Meharry Medical Group, said Meharry is serving as a location for COVID-19 testing as a way to give back to the community and to offer access to underserved residents.

“Our health professionals at Meharry wanted to make sure testing is available to everyone,” Dr. Smoot said. “Operating a testing site on our campus allows greater access for those in North Nashville and the surrounding areas who may not have the means or transportation to get tested at other locations throughout the city.” 

A group of doctors in Virginia had raised concerns about whether black communities and underserved groups might be disproportionately missing out on getting tested for COVID-19, according to reports. There is also concern about whether African Americans and low income groups have great susceptibility because of poverty, pre-existing conditions and lack of access to health care facilities.

The Meharry site is one of two new assessment centers for COVID-19 opened Monday in Davidson County. A community assessment center also opened Monday in the parking lot of Nissan Stadium, Lot “N,” 1 Titans Way, Nashville, TN 37213.

A third assessment center is scheduled to open in Antioch April 1, in the parking lot of the former Kmart, 2491 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217.

The assessment centers will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and are for Nashville residents only, free of charge.