LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) - UK HealthCare has begun drive-thru testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus, initally for its frontline employees and patient care providers.
The drive-thru testing is being performed at UK HealthCare Turfland and by appointment only for UK HealthCare employees who are symptomatic but don’t need inpatient care. Plans to expand testing to broader groups at UK HealthCare and the public, will be considered once access to tests increases.
“We want to make sure we take care of our employees so they can take care of our community,” said Dr. Mark Newman, University of Kentucky executive vice president for health affairs. “With the availability of tests and supplies, we are prioritizing testing for inpatients and health care employees who are symptomatic at this time.”
Employees fill out a survey and provide information if they are symptomatic with cough and fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or sore throat. Employees who have just returned from a level-three destination also can fill out a survey if they're symptomatic. The information will be reviewed by a clinical team which will identify employees for the drive-thru testing.
Those employees will then be given an appointment for their test. About 100 health care employee appointments will be scheduled per day. However, the number of appointments scheduled will be closely linked with the availability of supplies.
“This drive-thru screening is focused on our health care employees because they are at the most risk because they have the most contact with patients who have COVID-19 and we need to be able to get them back to work so that they can care for our patients,” said Dr. Sarah Schuetz, internal medicine physician at UK HealthCare and co-physician lead for drive-thru testing for COVID-19. “We do not want any of our health care workers feeling like they have to work when they are sick, and we want to be able to get them a diagnosis as quickly as possible.”