A look into the United Hospital Center drive-through COVID-19 testing sites


BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – West Virginia University Medicine has five COVID-19 drive through testing sites operating throughout the state, including the one at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.

When entering United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, the multitude of signs clearly takes one straight to these drive through collection tents.

Nurses and lab experts begin early in the morning, putting on protective gear including the most important called a CAPR or continuous air purifying respirator.

“It is one of the highest protectives that we can put on our staff,” Brenda Conch, the UHC Director of Education explained. “It actually a positive pressure so that air is getting filtered around them washing down over their face so that they would not be breathing in any of the virus particles.”

Once the staff is fully geared up it’s time to take on drive through patients. Conch explained that patients must have a physician’s order to get tested, making this screening tent much different than others around the state.

“Drive through flu clinic is completely different. It has different criteria and anybody can get those.”

After the initial interview and information session it’s time for the test.

“They take that q-tip and put it straight into their nose right into kind of the back and then they twist that and they pull it out, put it directly into that media, label it and send it directly to the lab.”

Conch explained that drive through patients can expect test results within five days but in the meantime…

“the thing that we tell them is that you are now under investigation. You are now to quarantine. You need to go home. You need to stay home. You need to practice good hand hygiene and you need to keep people out of your house and keep it clean.”

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