Drive through COVID-19 testing available at Boone Hospital and MU Health

3 weeks 1 hour 50 minutes ago Wednesday, March 18 2020 Mar 18, 2020 Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:34:00 PM CDT March 18, 2020 in News
By: Greta Serrin, KOMU 8 Digital Producer, Zola Crowder, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital has opened a drive through testing service for COVID-19.

The testing opened Wednesday at noon and is located south of the Emergency Department entrance on the southwest side of the hospital, according to a news release.

Chief Medical Officer Robin Blount said getting tests done was not easy before drive-thru accessibility. 

"It was very difficult to get testing done initially because we could only test through the state," she said. "The state required a significant amount of discussion on the front end and had to have very specific criteria before they would release a test."

It is available to patients with mild symptoms who have been assessed by a provider, and a physician order is required. All you have to do is present your drivers license and insurance card.

Individuals without insurance can still get tested.

"There will be no out-of-pocket cost for this COVID-19 testing," the release said.

The drive through site will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and weekend hours are still being determined.

"We are following the appropriate guidelines by the CDC to make sure our staff know what the appropriate protective equipment is for these patients, frankly its goggles, masks, gloves and a gown," Blount said.

Boone Hospital is working with a local testing site to make the results of those coming through the drive-up site available within a day.

MU Health Care emergency medicine physician Jonathan Heidt, MD, spoke about drive-thru testing at their facility.

"This is a way for patients to get tested without going to an ER or urgent care," he said. 

Heidt said the only way to get tested at these sites is regulated by the CDC guidelines.

"Patients at risk, have they traveled internationally, have they been to a location in the United States that is known to be endemic, Have they had exposure to a person who tested positive to COVID-19 and are they having symptoms," he said.

Tests will be sent to the lab Gene Traits in Columbia, Heidt said they expect results to take 24 hours to be released. 

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