“We are very excited to be opening two new sites within our urban footprint where we can safely and expeditiously administer COVID-19 testing for those who live in these communities and other nearby neighborhoods,” said Tom Walsh, MD, Allegheny Health Network.
PITTSBURGH (PRWEB) April 14, 2020
As part of its ongoing efforts to make testing for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) more accessible and convenient to patients across the western Pennsylvania region, today Allegheny Health Network (AHN) will open additional collection sites for COVID-19 testing in Braddock and on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
The new community testing locations bring to six the number of remote sites being operated by AHN in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 2,500 patients have been tested through the network’s drive-up collection sites (ahn.org/collectionsites) in Bethel Park, Erie, Monroeville and Wexford since those programs were launched in late March.
AHN’s testing site in Braddock will be located at the network’s urgent care center at 501 Braddock Avenue, and the North Side testing site will be established at the former Divine Providence Hospital at 1004 Arch Street. The collection sites will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
To undergo testing at the new locations, patients will need to have a valid prescription order for the test from an AHN affiliated health care provider and have an appointment scheduled. Those who have appointments for testing at the Braddock or North Side location can either drive through or walk into the site for their test.
On-demand or walk-up testing without an appointment is not available at these locations.
“With the success to date of our initial drive up testing sites, we continue to explore other possible locations based on the pandemic’s progress and the demand for testing in the many communities we serve,” said Tom Walsh, MD, infectious disease specialist and medical director of AHN’s antimicrobial stewardship program. “We are very excited to be opening two new sites within our urban footprint where we can safely and expeditiously administer COVID-19 testing for those who live in these communities and other nearby neighborhoods.”
To obtain a COVID-19 test order, AHN continues to encourage patients experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, to call their physician’s office, schedule a video visit or e-health visit through Mychart, or call AHN’s 24/7 nurse on call line (412-Nurse4U). After the COVID-19 test is ordered, patients will be contacted directly by AHN to set up a collection appointment.
For patients experiencing symptoms who inquire about testing at one of the AHN sites and who do not have a primary care physician, efforts will be made to connect them with an AHN provider. Patients can also select an AHN primary care physician by calling 412-Doctors.
Those who have been directed to the testing locations should be aware of the following:
- Patients will be given a specific appointment window, in order to minimize wait times.
- Patients will drive or walk through a secured, marked area.
- No outdoor restrooms will be available at the collection locations.
- The sample is collected via a nasal swab and the process typically takes less than 30 seconds, not including any wait times.
- The sample will be tested for influenza as well as the novel coronavirus.
- Testing results for the coronavirus typically take 5-7 days, depending on regional test volume. Individuals will be contacted directly with their results. As volumes increase, wait times for results may be longer.
- While waiting for their test results, individuals should stay at home. Those who receive positive COVID-19 test results may be issued additional care orders or self-isolation orders.
AHN’s drive-up collection sites have helped to greatly minimize unnecessary visits into physician offices and hospital emergency departments, supporting efforts across the community to slow the potential spread of COVID-19, Dr. Walsh said.