Suburban hospital starts drive-thru service for COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus
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BARRINGTON, Ill. — Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital has started a drive-thru service for people who need to get tested for coronavirus.

The emergency room staff at the Barrington hospital are the ones who came up with the idea, and this week have put it to the test. This is the first drive-thru of its kind in Illinois.

They are calling it a pet project for the surrounding community but they hope to expand it. If you suspect you might have COVID-19 but you are not deathly ill, you can simply drive up to the ambulance bay at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and get tested without getting out of your car. This means you don’t have to risk infecting anyone inside the hospital.

The testing, however, is not automatic. Patients still need an appointment and have to contact their primary care physician first. Then they will coordinate with the local health department and they will need to get specific permission.

Once patients get the OK, they can remain in their car during the testing and they will inform their doctor of the results within three days.

The hospital started the drive-thru testing earlier this week in an effort to protect health care workers and other patients from getting the virus.

“We are doing this not for convenience, we’re doing this for safety,” Shoeb Sitafalwalla, vice president and chief marketing officer at Advocate Good Shepherd said. “The testing that is done here is scheduled testing that is authorized by the Department of Public Health and facilitated by their primary care doctor.”

The hospital recommends that patients not have anyone else in the car with them. If a patient does get testing like this, they must be prepared to be quarantined afterward.

If a person is feeling so bad that they can’t drive, this is not a good option. Patients are recommended to go in person to their doctor or the emergency room.

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