Carilion Clinic closes COVID-19 testing drive-thru in Roanoke, Christiansburg

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 4:55 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Nearly three years after COVID cases appeared in the Roanoke region, local health leaders say there is cause for celebration.

Tuesday, Carilion Clinic officially closed its drive-thru COVID testing sites in Roanoke, and in Christiansburg starting March 1.

At the height of the pandemic, these sites on Postal Drive in Roanoke and Barn Road in Christiansburg processed between 500 and 600 tests a day. In the last few weeks, they processed between 20 and 50 tests a day, mostly for employees. Over the course of three years, more than 340,000 tests were given between the two sites.

Kim Roe, Carilion’s Vice President of Family and Community Medicine, said the decision to close comes during an evolution in COVID care.

“It represents certainly the movement into the end of the pandemic phase into the endemic phase,” Roe said. “And as we look at the amount of positivity and numbers continuing to go down in our region, it was the appropriate time to move out of our big testing sites, into our smaller venues.”

Roe said over the course of three years, 134 people worked or volunteered in the testing center, which also provided monoclonal antibody treatments.

“They’ll be transitioning to other locations within the department or within the system,” Roe said. “So no jobs were lost.”

Patients who still need testing can contact their primary care providers, source at-home test kits, or go to Velocity Care as well as local pharmacies. The drive-thru locations will continue to be utilized by Carilion providers.