PITTSBURGH (PRWEB) April 24, 2020
Editors Note: Out of respect for patient privacy and the need for appropriate social distancing, media will not be permitted on the premises where COVID-19 testing is taking place. AHN representatives will be available for phone or Zoom interviews about the new collection site. Staff conducting testing at the new locations will not be available for interview.
AHN’s community-based collection sites located throughout western Pennsylvania bring testing options closer to where people live and work
In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and the number of cases being diagnosed in western Pennsylvania, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) officials today announced the opening of a seventh drive-up collection sites for COVID-19 testing, at Heights Plaza, Natrona Heights.
Serving residents of the Alle-Kiski Valley and surrounding communities, the new location at 1622 Union Avenue, Natrona Heights, PA 15065, will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting next week. The testing at the site this week however will begin tomorrow (Friday, April 24), at 9 AM.
Only patients who have been evaluated by an AHN-affiliated health care provider for COVID-19 symptoms and who have a valid prescription order from their clinicians may be tested at the drive-up collection sites at this time. On-demand or walk-up testing is not available at this location.
To obtain a test order, the network is encouraging patients – especially those with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath – to utilize AHN’s various online or phone hotline options, in order to minimize exposure to others.
Patients can call the AHN 24/7 Nurse phone line (412-Nurse4U) to discuss symptoms with a nurse, or schedule a video visit or an e-visit through MyChart to discuss their concerns with a clinician. After the COVID-19 test is ordered, patients will be contacted directly by AHN to set up a collection appointment.
The community-based collection sites are meant to bring care options closer to where people live and work, according to Thomas Walsh, MD, infectious disease specialist and medical director of AHN’s antimicrobial stewardship program.
“At AHN, we have taken comprehensive action to protect our patients, their families, and our caregivers from the risk of exposure to infectious disease,” Dr. Walsh said. “Drive-up testing is one of several steps that we have taken to keep our patients safe and mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19.”
At the drive-up locations, on-site signage will direct patients to the secure collection area, where a check-in agent will verbally verify the patient’s identity. If there is more than one person in the vehicle, each person will need a valid prescription order to be tested.
Those who have been directed to the drive-through 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.
Additional drive-up testing sites are located at AHN Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion, AHN Bethel Park Health + Wellness Pavilion; 4220 William Penn Highway in Monroeville, AHN West Side Health + Wellness Pavilion in Erie, AHN Braddock Urgent Care, and the former Divine Providence/Kindred Hospital on Pittsburgh’s North Side. More than 2,500 patients have been tested through the network’s drive-up collection sites (ahn.org/collectionsites) since the program was launched in late March.
About the Allegheny Health Network:
Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org), a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of 12 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more. AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,500 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.