USA Health closed its drive-through facility in west Mobile on Friday, March 18 due to significantly low infection and hospitalization rates.
By Casandra Andrews
Nearly two years after USA Health partnered with the City of Mobile to bring COVID-19 testing to the public at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, the region’s only academic health system closed its drive-through facility in west Mobile on Friday, March 18.
The demand for COVID testing and the vaccine to protect against it has dropped significantly in recent months, as the infection rate and hospitalizations related to the coronavirus also have sharply declined along the Gulf Coast and much of the United States.
All told, nearly 118,000 COVID tests have been administered by USA Health to patients, employees and the public since March of 2020. Following national distribution by the government in late 2020, USA Health was first in the region to offer the vaccine to healthcare workers beginning on Dec. 15 of that year. More than 106,000 vaccine doses have been given by USA Health staff and medical volunteers since then.
“I’m incredibly proud of the effort and dedication our employees have shown throughout this challenging time in our community and around the world,” said Natalie Fox, D.N.P., executive director for academic practices at USA Health. “I’m glad we were able to step in and fill a need in the region at a time when large-scale resources were not yet available.”
In the spring of 2020, USA Health partnered with the City of Mobile to offer drive-through COVID-19 testing. In January 2021, the partnership expanded to offer drive-through COVID vaccinations at the Mobile Civic Center arena. The testing and vaccine center moved to the University of South Alabama campus in January 2022.
Individual USA Health staff members and the pandemic task force have been recognized for innovation and efficiency while meeting the challenges of providing convenient access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines during community-based events at area churches and mass vaccination clinics held in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
In February, 2021, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson honored USA Health staff members with Exceptional Citizenship Awards for their creative and persistent efforts to protect the health and safety of area residents. Since then, USA Health has been recognized by Mobile County Public Schools, the Mobile Medical Museum, USA’s National Alumni Association, the Alabama Nursing Association and the Sun Belt Conference, among others, for its continued efforts to stop the spread of COVID along the upper Gulf Coast and beyond.