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New urgent care offering free COVID testing

By Lauren Johnson

Stopwatch Urgent Care officially opened Monday and is offering free COVID-19 testing.

Dr. Stewart Roberts, the CEO and founder of Stopwatch Urgent Care, encourages everyone to get tested.

“We’re testing patients for free whether they’re insured or uninsured. If the patient is insured, all COVID related illnesses and screenings will be paid for by insurance. If the patient is uninsured, it will be paid for by Centicare,” Roberts explained.

“We’re testing for the active infection by nasal swab and testing for antibodies by blood draw. Within two weeks we’ll have another machine where we’ll know if the patient has COVID within 15 minutes,” Roberts said.

Roberts explained that the number of people being tested now is well above flu season numbers. “Last Thursday, my seven clinics saw close to 550 patients tested in one day,” he said.

To be tested, patients can go online to the Stopwatch Urgent Care website to register and to reserve a spot.

The waiting room has been set up to accommodate social distancing with the chairs sitting six feet apart, and everyone who enters the facility is required to wear a mask.

Telemedicine is another option for patients who would rather stay home to be treated. Roberts explained they can schedule a telemedicine visit where the patient can see a doctor from the comfort of their own home, which is also covered by insurance.

“We also have the ability to test large companies in Troy. We can come on site and do all the testing through employer paid services,” Roberts said.

Besides free COVID testing, this urgent care offers a variety of different serves including strep tests, flu tests, mono tests, drug tests, STD tests, and more. This urgent care is also equipped to treat lacerations, broken bones, set splints, make casts, and refer patients to an appropriate orthopedic.

“We don’t just test for COVID, we do a little bit of everything,” Roberts said.

Mark Morgan the Direct of Operations has been helping Roberts open new urgent care facilities and run them to better serve the community. Morgan and Roberts have plans to open three more sites in Alabama this year.

“With Dr. Roberts model, we’re able to serve the community in any capacity, and I think we’ve been able to do a really good job of that so far,” Morgan said.

Stopwatch Urgent Care prides itself on having a commitment to the patient as well as letting them have a great urgent care experience. One way that Dr. Roberts makes sure this happens is getting patients seen and treated quickly.

Last year, according to Roberts, Stopwatch Urgent Care’s average time of getting patients in and out was 26.4 minutes. He believes his patients’ time is very important as well as their health.

“We want to move people efficiently and in a healthy way. There’s really no reason for people to wait in an urgent care for 2 to 3 hours. If that’s happening then our staff is not doing their job,” he said.

Stopwatch Urgent Care is located on 1212 US Highway 231 and is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 7 pm and on weekends 9 am to 5 pm.