In an effort to support Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s push to administer 3,000 COVID tests in 48 hours, Fort Smith’s drive-thru testing facility at Ben Geren Park extended its hours on Friday and Saturday.


During his daily press briefing on Thursday, Hutchinson announced an initiative to increase the number of tests in Arkansas.


“If you think you have symptoms, don’t wait - get tested,” the governor urged all Arkansans.


In order to answer questions of testing capacity, Hutchinson announced this initiative so that anyone who feels the need to get tested for COVID -19 will be able to.


Hutchinson also believes that the surge in testing will help the state better grasp on how many positive cases are in the state and if the state is ready to reopen.


Dr. Lee Johnson of Baptist Health stated, “Fort Smith wants to do its part in this surge of testing.”


The testing facility is stocked with testing kits and will test as many residents as they can.


The testing facility at Ben Geren park is a drive-thru facility that allows patients to remain in their car while heathcare professionals administer the test.


The test for COVID is similar to the flu where a swab is inserted up the nose to collect a sample. Currently, the turnaround for a test is 24 to 48 hours.


The testing facility will be open until 5 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.