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Ascension Health announces it has COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites 'in development'
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Ascension Health announces it has COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites 'in development'

Ascension

A sign on the Ascension Wisconsin Health Center at 10340 Washington Ave. states, "Stop. If you have a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing please inform staff and wear a mask." Ascension as of Wednesday had not finalized plans for a COVID-19 testing site at its facilities in Racine County.

RACINE COUNTY — Ascension Health has formally announced that it is "developing drive-thru testing sits for COVID-19."

Those who suspect they may have contracted or come in contact with the novel coronavirus are still advised to contact their primary care provider first before coming to a testing location or hospital or medical care facility.

Ascension's toll-free Wisconsin number is 833-981-0711.

All "elective surgeries" within the Ascension network have also been postponed.

Ascension continues advising social distancing, avoiding groups of people and has retained visitor restriction policies to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In a press release, Ascension said: "During this time, with many individuals who may be working from home, or who have children who are at home and out of school, or individuals who are working shifts at various times of day that may make it difficult to take off work to see a doctor, it may be time to consider virtual care — an option for patients with low-acuity, urgent care issues who would like a virtual visit with a provider using the mobile device of their choice, smartphone, laptop or tablet."

Informational phone line

United Way's 2-1-1 service is also helping out with nonmedical calls related to COVID-19. Call 211 to learn about:

  • Food delivery programs for home-bound seniors
  • Transportation options, as some public transit services close down
  • Nutrition programs for children who rely on free and reduced meals at school
  • Information on emerging resources in the community

Countywide effort

To monitor the spread of the coronavirus, mobile testing sites are being established in Racine County.

“We are aware some hospitals are beginning to implement drive-thru testing,” Mark Schaaf, the county’s communication director said on Wednesday.

He was not able to elaborate on where the sites are located.

In a statement Tuesday, regional healthcare system Ascension said, “If someone wants a COVID-19 test, they need to be evaluated by a physician to determine recommended action steps.”

“For suspected COVID-19 cases, Ascension is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of today, patients who require testing, under their physician’s direction, will be tested at the closest site, for most Ascension Wisconsin patients in Racine, that would be at Ascension All Saints Hospital, but this could be changing soon as health systems operationalize mobile testing sites.”

No additional information was immediately available Wednesday on mobile sites.

Froedtert South on Tuesday established a drive-up testing site in Pleasant Prairie.

The tests are being conducted by hospital staff in the parking lot of the Pleasant Prairie Clinic, 10256 Old Green Bay Road, Pleasant Prairie.

Available by doctor’s orders only, the testing facility was arranged to prevent patients who might have COVID-19 from spreading the illness inside hospital facilities, said Ric Schmidt, president and CEO of Froedtert South.

“We have some very sick patients on both hospital campuses, so we need to do all we can to remove the potential that someone who has the COVID-19 disease is coming into the clinics,” he said.

What should people do if they think they may have symptoms or have been exposed to coronavirus?

Anyone who believes they may have had contact with someone who is confirmed to have or is being evaluated for the novel coronavirus should contact their physician, Ascension stated in a news release.

To help prevent the spread of disease, the CDC recommends that individuals call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room and inform clinical staff about symptoms and any recent travel.

Ascension Online Care offers visits with a doctor 24/7 from work, travel or home. Use code HOME for a discounted $20 visit during the month of March. Download the app at ascension.org/onlinecare. It is available in all 50 states and no insurance is required.

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