WVU Medicine Camden Clark opens COVID-19 drive-through site for pre-screened patients

Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 5:47 PM EDT
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Update: 3/10/2020

Drive-through testing for the COVID-19 virus is continuing at WVU Medicine hospitals across West Virginia, including WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg.

35 people came through for testing Thursday. WVU Medicine says 166 people showed up for testing Wednesday at its hospitals across the state.

The largest number came from the Eastern Panhandle, where two confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported so far.

And officials say they expect more people to come as time goes on.

"I truly anticipate that it's going to ramp up, based on their changing some of the criteria," says Director of Emergency Services Susan Abdella, "making it a little looser to where it makes it easier for people to be accessed to get that testing done."

One other thing hospital personnel tell us, is that if you call 911 for emergency response, let the responders know if you believe you believe you might have symptoms of the novel Coronavirus.

UPDATE: 3/18/20 12:15 P.M.

WVU Medicine began operating a drive-through site Wednesday morning outside Camden Clark Medical Center where pre-screened patients can be tested for the COVID-19 virus.

The site located outside the Camden Clark South Tower is one of five that the WVU Medicine has set up across West Virginia. will be open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week.

"The purpose is to test patients with valid orders for COVID-19 screening based on clinical criteria," a Camden Clark spokesman said. "Our COVID 19 specimen-collection drive through is only for individuals who have a physician’s order."

Patients without a valid order for testing should contact primary-care office to determine if they need a screening test. They can also contact the WVU Medicine Nurse Navigator line at 304-598-6000 Option 4.


WVU Medicine announced Tuesday today that it is establishing five drive-through collection points in West Virginia, including one in Parkersburg, to collect specimens from pre-screened patients to test for COVID-19.

Other collection points will be in Morgantown, Bridgeport, Wheeling, and Martinsburg.

The collection points will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on Wednesday, WVU Medicine said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

Patients will typically learn test results in three-to-four days, although that time will likely vary based on the volume of tests being done.

There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia, but so far 80 cases have returned negative results.

With transmission of the coronavirus is increasing nationwide, other health systems have successfully used the drive-through approach.

The testing itself will be supported by both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, which will process the specimens that WVU Medicine collects from patients.

According to the news release, tests will be reserved for people who meet screening criteria based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include people who are sick with symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Asymptomatic patients – or those people who have no obvious COVID-19 symptoms – will not be tested. This will ensure only the highest-risk patients are identified and receive the appropriate medical intervention, the hospital said.

The testing for not include screenings for seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or any other respiratory illnesses.

Patients who meet criteria for testing will be directed to one of the five drive-through collection points. WVU Medicine staff will collect the specimens and send them to Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp for analysis. This process reduces the need for other critically constrained resources.

“We are happy to roll these collection sites out to our state and provide this critical service to our citizens,” Dr. Judie Charlton, WVU Medicine’s chief medical officer, said. “We only ask that people who are truly sick and who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 request testing, which they can through their primary care doctor or by calling the WVU Medicine COVID-19 triage line at 304-598-6000, option 4.”

WVU Medicine will collect the specimen only if the patient has a valid Epic order from a referring physician.

“Our process of requiring an Epic order expedites our ability to communicate results back to patients and ensure that appropriate measures have been taken in ordering the test, reporting to government agencies, and providing follow-through care when warranted,” Charlton said. “Patients whose care is through a provider without Epic access can be accommodated by the treating physician referring the patient to our Covid-19 triage number.”

For more information on COVID-19, click on the related link to the right of this article.

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