Drive-thru COVID-19 assessment offered March 20
Area health providers team to provide service at Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds
Last updated 3/19/2020 at 7:21pm
SPOKANE -- The Spokane medical community, and other partners have come together to help ease some of the increased patient volume hospitals and clinics are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic by setting up a drive-through screening site which opens Friday March 20. The site, at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds, will act in conjunction with existing on-line and phone screening systems set up by hospitals and clinics throughout the region. It is not a self-referral, guaranteed testing site.
Health care professionals working collaboratively from multiple organizations (including CHAS, Kaiser Permanente, MultiCare and Providence) will screen for signs and symptoms of possible COVID-19 exposure and, if warranted, provide testing for the virus. The Spokane region, along with the rest of the country, is experiencing a limited number of testing supplies so following current protocol, only those meeting testing criteria will be given a test.
The targeted population for this screening is the same as for the general public – only people experiencing symptoms which present like COVID-19 (fever AND cough or shortness of breath), particularly those with underlying medical conditions and those over age 60. Healthcare workers and first responders who have cared for someone who may have the virus are a priority for screening as well.
You will need to take these steps before utilizing the screening site:
-- Take an on-line assessment available through your provider.
-- Conduct a video chat or phone call with a provider. Your provider can then assess if you are a good candidate for the drive-thru screening.
The drive-through screening will be held at the Spokane Fairgrounds beginning Friday March 20 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. until further notice, based on resources.
Health officials say your safety and that of healthcare workers and first responders in our community is paramount, so they are conducting the screening as you stay in your car. They estimate servicing around 280 cars a day and will only screen two people per vehicle with proper referral from healthcare providers. While there is no cost for the initial screening, patients who are deemed necessary to test may be billed to their insurance.
“Most people screened for COVID-19 will not need to go to a hospital," Spokane Regional Health District health officer Dr. Bob Lutz said. "Their first line of defense remains staying home, in self-isolation, practicing good coughing and sneezing etiquette, cleaning high-touch surfaces, and refraining from touching your face.”
These are the questions that people need to ask themselves (including healthcare workers/first responders):
If you are concerned that you may have the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), before asking to be screened for testing ask yourself:
Within the past two weeks, have you traveled to a high-risk country (China, South Korea, Italy, Iran) or been in close contact with someone else who has traveled to a high-risk county?
Have you been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks?
Are you at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms due to underlying health conditions or because you are over the age of 60?
Are you a healthcare provider or first responder who helped care for a person who was confirmed positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks?
Do you have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 such as a high fever – AND - cough, or shortness of breath – AND – answered yes to one of the above questions?