CONWAY, Ark. (March 16, 2020) –Conway Regional Health System has established drive-thru testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). The testing takes place outside at Conway Regional Medical Center’s West Lobby Entrance, which has been closed to the public. The drive-thru site began operation on Friday, March 13 and is open weekdays from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is beneficial for both patients and healthcare workers, ensuring social distancing and lessening the risk for transmission of the virus.
“This drive-thru testing site was established in close coordination with our medical staff, physician partners, and local primary care clinics,” said Matt Troup, President and CEO of Conway Regional. “It is because of this strong partnership that we are able to offer our community a convenient and effective testing option that protects their safety, as well as the safety of our healthcare workers.”
At this time, patient testing is directed by the patient’s healthcare provider. Patients who are screened by their physician and deemed to need testing are referred to the Conway Regional drive-thru testing site. With a lab order from their healthcare provider, a sample is collected for testing. Patients who do not have a primary care physician may contact Conway Regional at 501-329-3831 to be connected with a healthcare provider and screened for potential testing.
“Because of the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, we ask that patients call ahead before seeking testing and treatment,” said Greg Kendrick, M.D., Hospitalist. “Over the phone, providers are able to assess a patient’s symptoms and, if deemed necessary, direct them to the drive-thru testing site. Once results are received, the patient’s provider will offer guidance on the best method of care.”
If individuals are experiencing severe symptoms—difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in their chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and/or bluish lips or face—they should seek medical attention immediately.
When a patient arrives to the drive-thru testing site, a trained healthcare worker in personal protective gear will swab for a nasal cavity sample. The sample is then packaged and transported to a medical laboratory in accordance with federal guidelines. Depending upon symptoms, the patient may also be tested for the flu.
Results from COVID-19 testing can take up to 3-5 days to receive. Until test results are confirmed, patients with mild symptoms should remain home and distance themselves from others.
The best method of infection prevention is proper hygiene. To help prevent the spread of illness, individuals should wash their hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds; stay home when sick; avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth; cover their cough or sneeze; and avoid close contact with others who are sick.
For the latest information on COVID-19 as it regards to Conway Regional and the communities we serve, visit https://www.conwayregional.org/COVID19.