(Michigan City, IN) - Nearly a dozen people were tested for coronavirus during the first three hours drive-up testing opened Wednesday at Franciscan Health in Michigan City.
People remained in their vehicles in a well-marked area of the hospital’s main parking lot to have their mouths swabbed by a clinician wearing protective clothing.
It takes about five minutes before people after first pulling up are sent on their way, said Franciscan Health spokesman Robert Blaszkiewicz.
“It’s very simple,” he said.
People will know the results in three to five days when contacted by their physician, Blaszkiewicz said.
Franciscan Health began offering drive up testing at its campus in Crown Point on Monday to help try and slow the spread of the virus.
Blaszkiewicz said about 100 people had come in for testing in Crown Point by mid-afternoon on Wednesday.
To be tested, Blaszkiewicz said people must receive an order from their physician and pre-register with the hospital then present the doctor’s order when they show up for testing.
“You can’t just drive up and get a test. They kind of have to go through the proper procedures,” he said.
Blaszkiewicz said each swab is placed into an envelope for delivery to a private laboratory in North Carolina for testing.
The laboratory is operated by LabCorp, a leading health care diagnostics company.
Blaszkiewicz said the results will be shared first with the physician who will then contact the patient.
It’s up to the doctor to decide what to do next for the patient.
“If they were determined to be severely ill enough then they would possibly be hospitalized. But, otherwise, most people will treat this as people deal with the flu. They treat their symptoms at home,” he said.
Blaskiewicz said there were no coronavirus patients yet at either campus.
“That obviously could change,” he said.
To pre-register, contact the Michigan City campus at (219) 877-1474 or the Crown Point campus at (219) 681-6912.
Like any work, Blaskiewicz said insurance companies are billed for the cost of the test which was not available.
There’s been some talk in Congress about allocating funds to provide free coronavirus testing.