A new testing facility on the north side of Fort Smith was opened Thursday, sponsored by Walmart and Quest Diagnostics.
This testing site is located at 5301 Riverside Drive and is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It is available to all residents in the River Valley, including those in Oklahoma. There is also a testing site on the south side of Fort Smith at the Ben Geren Storm Shelter.
Fort Smith Mayor George McGill said the new testing site is "another example of government and private business partnerships not only coming together to feed people...they provide the services that they know are important for their customers and the citizens of the River Valley."
Speakers thanked both corporations for coming to Fort Smith and setting up this testing site. State Representative for District 78, Jay Richardson, expressed his gratitude of having a testing site in that district to complement the one on the south side of town.
State Representative for District 75, Lee Johnson, stated this testing center was integral for Phase I reopening of Arkansas and managing COVID-19 spread in the community.
Anyone experiencing symptoms may be tested as well as healthcare workers and first responders whether or not they are symptomatic.
In order to be tested, residents must go to myquestcovidtest.com to make an appointment.
Ward 2 Director Andre’ Good pointed out that Fort Smith Park was a "beautiful site" for testing and when people arrived for their appointments they just need to follow the road signs that are clearly posted.
"This is really important to reopening," Ward 3 Director Lavon Morton stated while pointing out that many Americans do not have this easy of access to testing.
The speakers also urged all residents to stay safe by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to accurately reflect who is eligible for testing.