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Health department to centralize COVID-19 testing at abandoned Manchester business

Thunder Radio News has learned that testing for COVID-19 virus in Coffee County will soon be centralized at the now-abandoned Southern Family Markets building located at 2050 Hillsboro Blvd in Manchester.

Currently, testing is available at the Department of Health locations in Manchester and Tullahoma. Once set up, all testing will move to the Southern Family Markets building. Officials were on site Tuesday to prepare the location. 

“All of the testing for the county will be done at the one location here,” said Allen Lendley with Coffee County EMA. “Basically they will be testing all day (during business hours). We were running into a traffic problem at the health departments in Manchester and Tullahoma due to an influx of testing here lately.”

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Officials are cleaning a portion of the interior of the building (on Tuesday) and will set up a tent inside the building to conduct testing.

“There is a lot more parking here (at this building) than the health department locations,” said Lendley.

Lendley is unsure when the location would be open for testing. But he said plans are to begin by the end of this week (July 25) or the start of next week (July 27) at the latest. 

The health department received permission to use the building from the property owner through the building’s property management company, Premier Lawn Care. 

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