A CLOSER LOOK: COVID-19 testing in hospitals across Central Arkansas


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- As people continue to search for places that provide COVID-19 testing in Central Arkansas, hospitals such as Baptist Health, UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and CHI St. Vincent offer testing.

Below is information from hospital officials about who can get tested, the process and average wait time.

Baptist Health:

According to Baptist Health officials, their testing sites generally don’t provide testing for children under the age of 12, but it varies per testing site. One example is the Baptist Health-Little Rock site sends children under 12 to the emergency department for testing due to the pediatrics certification of their staff.

Officials say most Baptist Health sites offer drive-thru testing where the person being tested stays in their vehicle to be registered, swabbed and receive instructions on how to obtain test results.

Baptist Health officials say wait times depend on the day and time. According to officials, the wait time can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as four hours.

According to the Baptist Health website, “You should receive your results within 5 to 7 days. Patients will only be called if their results are positive, otherwise, their negative results will be in MyChart.”

While waiting on test results, people should quarantine at home, according to the Baptist Health website.

According to Baptist Health officials, there is no cost upfront or after insurance for a coronavirus test. Officials say they are also not billing patients for a COVID test if they do not have insurance.

For more information from Baptist Health, click here.


According to UAMS officials, testing is offered for people 16 years or older.

There are online, phone or drive-thru screenings.

UAMS officials say the person being tested must show symptoms, have known contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus or have an upcoming procedure at UAMS.

An official with UAMS said Friday that the average wait time the past couple of days was about two hours.

According to the UAMS website, “Results are usually available in one to three days, depending on the type of test.”

There are no up-front costs to the patient for the test. Officials say the patient’s insurance information is taken.

For more information from UAMS, click here.

CHI St. Vincent:

Officials with CHI St. Vincent say their primary testing site is at the CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic.

According to officials, CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic does not currently conduct tests for minors.

People who are wanting or needing to be tested are asked to first call a COVID-19 Hotline, which is 501-552-0876. The hotline was set up by the CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic. Clinical staff screen callers. If the person has symptoms or potential exposure, the staff will immediately schedule a time and give a location for testing. Officials with CHI St. Vincent say this usually takes place on the same or following day.

At their appointed time, the person will arrive at the CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic at 10001 Lile Drive and follow the signs to a separate structure in the back corner of the property where the tests are conducted. The person stays in their car the entire time. CHI St. Vincent officials say staff will already be expecting them, accept their completed paperwork and conduct the test on-site.

Officials say the scheduled testing appointments, staff preparation and separate site conduct the tests help prevent any long waits for patients.

According to officials, there is usually no wait time at CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic due to the scheduled testing appointments. Officials say the additional staff is available to offer additional testing time slots if needed.

Officials say at this time, the average wait time would be a moving figure since so much relies on a lab’s current testing supplies.

There are no up-front costs for the test. Officials say CHI St. Vincent Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic only bills directly through insurance.

For more information from CHI St. Vincent, click here.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital:

According to officials, Arkansas Children’s Hospital is currently performing tests on Arkansas Community Physician and Arkansas Children’s primary care patients are symptomatic or have exposure with a physician’s order.

Arkansas Children’s is also conducting perioperative testing with a physician’s order, according to officials.

Officials say Arkansas Children’s Hospital Little Rock campus is COVID testing with a physician’s order at the drive-thru seven days a week from 9 a.m. until noon.

ACH is not currently testing adult patients.

According to ACH officials, ages 0 through 21 years old can be tested there.

Officials say when the patient’s family pulls into the drive, they will be asked to pull into a parking spot and call the registration number. Once the family has completed the registration process, they can go into the drive-thru for testing. Officials say a nasal swab is performed and the family drives away.

According to officials, the lab reports are generally returned and reported the next day.

ACH officials say the entire testing process generally takes 15-20 minutes from the time the patient’s family pulls into the drive until the testing is complete.

There is no up-front cost for a COVID test. ACH officials say the hospital bills insurance to cover the cost.

For more information from Arkansas Children’s Hospital, click here.

To see a full list of testing sites across the state, click here.


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