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Christ Hospital Opens COVID-19 Test Collection Sites

Christ Hospital is opening multiple testing sites across Cincinnati amid the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

The sites will collect nasal samples and send them to labs so that they may be tested for the virus, which is now part of a global pandemic.

The first site opened in Mason, Oh. on Monday and has already performed more than 100 swabs for testing. A second site located outside the Joint & Spine Center at the hospital's main campus in Cincinnati's Mt. Auburn neighborhood will open on Thursday.

Future sites have also been identified contingent upon supplies, a news release said.

If individuals are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms they will be encouraged to stay home and call their primary healthcare provider. That provider will evaluate the patient over the phone and decide whether the patient needs evaluated and/or tested. If the provider deems a test is necessary, the patient will be given next steps to go to the testing site.

For the Mason site

If an individual has a test order from a health care provider, they will be asked to stay in their vehicle and call the facility upon arrival. An approximate wait time will be communicated, and the individual will stay in their vehicle during that wait. Once their turn has come, they will receive a phone call asking them to enter the facility. They will promptly be given a mask and taken back to have a sample collected. At that point, the individual will be able to return to their vehicle and go home.

For the Mt. Auburn site

The Mt. Auburn test collection site will operate as a drive-up site. Individuals will not need an order from a health care provider to be seen at this site and can remain in their vehicle the entire time. Upon arrival, they will be screened for symptoms by a medical professional and, if appropriate, will have a sample collected for testing. Individuals who do not have symptoms will not be tested to ensure the preservation of critical, limited testing supplies. Individuals not experiencing flu-like symptoms are asked not to come to the site.

These sites are for sample collection purposes only and will not administer the actual test for COVID-19. Once samples are collected, they will be sent to labs where results can take several days to return. Individuals will be contacted about the results of the test once they return

“The Christ Hospital has prepared extensively for this type of large-scale community health challenge. We have a task force that meets daily and is actively coordinating with local, state and national government and partner organizations,” said Tom Lamarre, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at the Christ Hospital Health Network. “We have anticipated this increase in demand for testing and our tireless planning has allowed us to open these sites so quickly. Our mission is to improve the health of the community, and right now we believe widespread testing is the best way to accomplish that mission.”

-Staff report