Sentara suspends drive-thru screening — not enough coronavirus test kits

(Southside Daily File Photo)
(Southside Daily File Photo)

Citing a low supply of test kits, Sentara Healthcare is suspending its drive-thru screening locations starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Sentara started operating drive-thru screening operations to better assess who to test for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Monday.

The suspension is temporary, according to a news release from Sentara.

Sentara still has test kits available to test only high-risk coronavirus patients inside their facilities. This means patients who are older than 60 or have underlying health conditions, have at least two symptoms of the virus— a fever, a cough and shortness of breath– and meet the travel and contact criteria.

Sentara is asking those younger than 60 and do not have any other health issues who meet these symptoms, travel and contact criteria to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days.

The healthcare system said the coronavirus is a critical concern for the community and is actively working with state and federal officials to get more testing supplies.

In the meantime, those who feel they have symptoms of the coronavirus should contact their primary care physician before visiting a Sentara Healthcare location. Sentara has asked locals to remain home unless they are experiencing a health emergency.

Sentara Medical Group also has changed some of its appointment procedures, effective Tuesday.

Patients who have already scheduled an appointment but have now developed a fever or cough, should call the office prior to the appointment for guidance on best actions.

Patients may also receive a call to move their in-office appointments to a virtual appointments, depending on the patient’s needs. These virtual appointments can be conducted over the phone or through a video visit.

Sentara is encouraging patients with questions for their healthcare provider to contact them through Sentara MyChart or through their Sentara account.

More information can be accessed through Sentara online.

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