Sturdy Memorial Hospital launches drive-through coronavirus testing
SOUTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WLNE) – Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro launched its drive-through COVID-19 clinic Wednesday, in addition to virtual doctor visits, as coronavirus cases quickly rise in Massachusetts.
“We have about 34,000 patients in the community, and we wanted to provide testing in the community as fast as possible,” said Chief Operating Officer of Sturdy Memorial Associates, Blair Bisher.
The drive-through testing is set up at Sturdy’s urgent care clinic on Washington Street in South Attleboro. The building used to be a drive-through dry cleaner, so the layout of the parking lot is equipped for easy access.
“If the patient is appropriate for a COVID test, that physician would place an order for a COVID-19 test to be performed, and the patient would be sent over with a scheduled appointment time at our drive-through COVID clinic,” Bisher explains.
Bisher said the process takes just ten minutes or less, and patients will receive their results in 24-48 hours.
A patient with an appointment will pull up to the drive-through, follow the cones to the tent, and a nurse practitioner along with a medical assistant will approach the vehicle in full protective gear to give instructions.
“They will blow their nose with the windows closed, in a sealed vehicle, and at that point, they’ll be instructed to crack their window, and our provider will perform the nasal test.”
From there, the sample is taken, and the patient is given instructions on how to properly self-quarantine.
Bisher said Sturdy was getting an influx of calls from patients with symptoms who wanted to be tested, and that was the driving force behind the creation of the drive-through clinic and virtual visits.
“We want to do everything we can to reduce the risk of community spread, to keep our patients, our community, our staff, and our providers healthy.”
Currently, the clinic can administer up to 50 tests a day, but Bisher said they’re trying to get their hands on more testing kits to increase that number.
“The demand is very high, the supply is not quite as high as demand, so we’re working with several different vendors to try and get as many test kits as we can,” Bisher said.
The drive-through clinic is available only to Sturdy Memorial Associates patients, but with virtual visits, they’re able to expand to accept new patients.
If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call 508-695-2020 to be connected to a Sturdy physician.
The drive-through clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
© WLNE-TV 2020