Coronavirus testing: Sentara now offering drive-through screening, testing

Coronavirus

A nurse speaks from a distance to a person coming to a drive-in coronavirus testing center outside the Mercy Virtual Care Center in Chesterfield, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. The drive-thru testing center will open to patients daily from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Sentara Healthcare started drive-through screening and testing for the coronavirus in Hampton Roads on Monday.

The first sites are at three locations across the area, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

However supplies are limited and Sentara created a questionnaire to read through before you decide to head to any of the facilities. They’re emphasizing the need to ensure testing for high-risk patients first.

You can read the questionnaire and get more information here.

Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
2025 Glenn Mitchell Drive
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456

Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center
100 Sentara Circle
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188

Sentara Edinburgh
1933 Edwin Drive
Chesapeake, Virginia 23322

After Monday, Sentara says screening and testing will run at the locations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week. Sentara says they’re also anticipating opening more locations in the future.

Here’s how the process works:

The drive-thru at Sentara Princess Anne has three lanes.

Drivers will go through a three-step process.

“The first step is a questionnaire to determine whether the patients have symptoms and if they have cold- or flu-like symptoms. If that’s positive, they’ll be moved to a provider and a provider will appropriately determine medical history. The severity of the symptoms determine if they have a fever, etc.” said Kurt Hofelich, division vice president for Sentara ambulatory services.

If the testing criteria are met, then the person will be given the COVID 19 test.

“We do have to register every patient, and we will be utilizing people’s insurance for lab testing,” said Hofelich. “We are a charitable organization, so if you do not have insurance, we will continue to take care of people who do not have insurance.”

They do not yet know the cost of the test, but said insurers are covering it. Hofelich says most insurers have no co-pay for this test.

“We have an eligibility process, so those patients who meet our charitable guidelines receive discounts appropriate to our policy,” he said.

Sentara hospitals have set up dedicated respiratory units for those who are awaiting COVID-19 test results or who have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Those who are high-risk or confirmed positive for COVID-19 and need hospitalization will be cared for in individual rooms in this unit, according to Sentara.

Sentara’s before you go checklist

Sentara also released an updated visitor plan on Monday. The new plan suspends all routine visiting until the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer an active threat. Visitors under the age of 12 are prohibited inside hospitals.

There are a few exceptions to the updated visitor plan:

  • Obstetric patients may have one partner and one support person with them
  • Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers may visit children in the nursery and neonatal intensive care unit
  • End-of-life patients may have two visitors
  • Patients with disruptive behaviors may have one visitor
  • Patients with altered mental status or developmental delays may have one visitor
  • Minors may have one parent or guardian as a visitor
  • Emergency room patients may have a visitor with them during their emergency department stay

All visitors must stay in the patient’s rooms while at Sentara hospitals. They must leave the hospital immediately after the visit.

Sentara has created a plan in the event that elective procedures must be canceled or rescheduled. The company will make that plan public if changes are made to surgery schedules.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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