Local Community Health Centers in Arkansas are joining together to expand testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19), offering free testing for everyone, regardless of symptoms. Sites include the Jefferson Comprehensive Care System at Pine Bluff.

During the last few weeks, more than 7,800 tests have been performed at CHCs. In early May, the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration, distributed funds to CHCs to help deliver increased testing as part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, according to a news release.

The 12 CHCs in Arkansas are: Jefferson Comprehensive Care System, Pine Bluff; Mainline Health Systems, Dermott; Mid-Delta Health Systems, Clarendon; Lee County Cooperative Clinic, Marianna; ARCare, based in Augusta; Boston Mountain Rural Health Center, Marshall; CABUN Rural Health Services, Hampton; Community Clinic, Springdale; 1st Choice Healthcare, Corning; East Arkansas Family Health Center, West Memphis; Healthy Connections, Inc., Mena; and River Valley Primary Care, Ratcliff.


“The 12 Community Health Centers in Arkansas are uniquely positioned to help test people from all demographic populations, but especially minority groups or those in hard-to-reach rural areas,” said LaShannon Spencer, chief executive officer of the Community Health Centers of Arkansas. “Gov. Asa Hutchinson has called for testing to be greatly increased throughout Arkansas, and CHCs are proud to do our part. The only way to be sure is to get tested.”

CHCs are non-profit entities fueled by patient revenue and federal grants meant to expand health care access for low-income and rural populations, according to the release.

Combined, there are nearly 100 testing sites. CHCs provide many services including primary care, dental, behavioral health, and health education. Eleven of the 12 CHCs in Arkansas have multiple clinic sites.

The centers are working closely with the Arkansas Department of Health, local hospitals, and local county health units in this statewide test effort. Testing for COVID-19 is free, but insurance information is needed if patients have insurance. Regardless of insurance status, no out-of-pocket fees are charged.

“We’ve provided numerous mass testing events, and we will continue to offer drive-up, no-appointment testing events,” said Allan Nichols, chairman of the Community Health Centers of Arkansas Board, and chief executive officer of Mainline Health Systems. “But we also set aside regular office hours for testing. Please call the CHC nearest you for the available time period most convenient for you.”

Testing is offered in tents, vehicles, or in special rooms separated from regular clinic activity to safely allow everyday patient traffic.

The complete list of all of the testing sites is available at http://www.chc-ar.org/coronavirus-testing-sites. There is also a toll-free number to receive information on testing sites: 1-833-508-0774.

Details: http://www.chc-ar.org/ and http://online.fliphtml5.com/xdknb/ymox/