LIMA — Drive-through tests for COVID-19 will be available beginning Monday at Memorial Health System in Lima, with results of those tests available within 48-72 hours.
The announcement came during a press conference Friday honoring Ohio Northern University and ONU professor Dr. Dennis De Luca for their contributions in helping the hospital help make possible PCR molecular testing for COVID-19 that started earlier this year.
According to Jeff Utz, executive director or Lima Memorial Physicians, the new drive-through testing site will be in operation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. No appointments are necessary, but patients are required to have a physician’s order to obtain a test.
The testing site is located on Lima Memorial’s main campus on the northeast side of the hospital off Dewey Avenue.
Upon arrival, patients will be guided to park in a designated location and remain in their car. A sign featuring a phone number for them to call will be located at each parking slot and after a telephone registration process patients will be directed to a nearby testing station to have a sample collected.
The tests to be conducted are RT-PCR molecular tests that detect the virus’s genetic material, which Utz called the “gold standard” of COVID-19 tests. Patients will have a swab inserted into the back of their throats to collect specimen cultures.
Utz said if a test returns positive, a phone call will be placed to the patient and the Allen County Health Department will be contacted to initiate the appropriate protocols. The patients will immediately be instructed to self-quarantine.
Persons experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 who do not have a physician’s order can contact one of Lima Memorial Physicians’ 10 primary care practices or call 877-DOC-LMPC for a same-day health visit and recommended testing.
Samples collected at the drive-through testing site at the hospital and at similar Lima Memorial Physicians’ locations in Ada, Indian Lake, Kenton, Lima, Ottawa and Wapakoneta are being tested at the main hospital, Utz said.