West Alabama residents will have the opportunity to obtain a free COVID-19 test thanks to a new federal program.

The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service Logistics Center will serve as a federally-funded "mega surge" test site and will be open to the public from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily beginning Monday, August 24th.

Alabama Emergency Management Agency Division C Coordinator and Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa Broadcast News Director Don Hartley says the program aims to test as many people as possible.

"He hope to test 1,500 daily," he said.

Hartley said the tests will be given at no cost, and those seeking to get a test do not have to be symptomatic or recently exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual to obtain a test.

"Unlike other testing sites, you do not have to be displaying COVID-19 symptoms to get tested," he added.

Those who wish to obtain a free COVID-19 test need to register in advance at doineedacovid19test.com. A voucher must be printed and presented before testing; however, Hartley says a printer will be available on site for those without access to a printer.

The local testing site is being coordinated by the City of Tuscaloosa, the County of Tuscaloosa, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the EMA. Two additional mega surge sites have been added for Jefferson County: one in Hoover and another in Centerpoint.

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