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WVU Medicine to offer pre-screened patients drive-through specimen collection for COVID-19

WVU Medicine announced March 17 that it is establishing five drive-through collection points in West Virginia to collect specimens from pre-screened patients to test for COVID-19. The collection points will be in Morgantown, Parkersburg, Bridgeport, Wheeling, and Martinsburg. Transmission of the coronavirus is increasing nationwide, and 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. The collection points will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting tomorrow, March 18. Patients will typically learn test results in three-to-four days, although time will likely vary based on the volume of tests these two companies will be performing.

Tests will be reserved for people who meet screening criteria based on CDC recommendations and 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 screening will not test for seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or any other respiratory illness.

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, using appropriate precautions, and send them to Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp for analysis. This process reduces the need for other critically constrained resources.

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

For more information about WVU Medicine’s efforts, visit WVUMedicine.org/covid