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Alabama church hosts drive-in coronavirus testing for nearly 1,000 people

Alabama church hosts drive-in coronavirus testing for nearly 1,000 people
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An Alabama church has provided coronavirus tests for almost 1,000 people via a drive-thru testing center set up in its parking lot.

A doctor working with the church told AL.com that 977 people have received tests for coronavirus at Church of the Highlands in Jefferson County, the largest church in the state.

Testing began Sunday with the help of Assurance Scientific Laboratories, which is processing the tests, and involves a staff of about 100 volunteers, 20 church employees and several Assurance staffers, according to AL.com.

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“We have enough kits to do testing for more people than we physically have the doctors to approve the tests,” Associate Pastor Layne Schranz told AL.com. “The kits are not a restriction on how many people we can test. It’s literally the logistics of in and out that’s restricting what we can get physically get done in a day.”

“What we saw ... was thousands of people wanted testing,” he added. “We’re going to do our best to increase our efficiency and increase our number every day.”

Church of the Highlands, a Pentecostal ministry, is one of the largest churches in the country. The congregation and ministry have a reputation in the state for activism and volunteer work, according to AL.com.

The coronavirus outbreak has sickened 68 people in Alabama and more than 10,000 nationally. Lack of available testing is thought to have contributed to a delay in accurate numbers of confirmed cases in the U.S.