Centra establishes five outpatient COVID-19 testing sites for limited patients

Published: Mar. 18, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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A small tent is set up outside Centra Urgent Care in Forest, one of five locations where the healthcare provider is offering free COVID-19 testing in an outpatient setting for qualified patients.

"The test is the same, whether you're in a hospital or in an outpatient area," explained Amanda Turner, practice administrator for Centra Urgent Care in Forest.

Patients who enter the drive-thru clinic are advised to enter a parking space and call the number listed on an outdoor sign.

A nurse will then emerge wearing protective gear that includes a gown, gloves and respirator.

"A nurse is going to assess you when you arrive, to see if you meet the criteria for testing," Turner said.

If you meet the criteria to be tested, the nurse will then use swabs to obtain a sample, which is then sent to a lab for testing.

"If you do get tested, you can expect to hear results back from a nurse in the clinic within one week," said Turner.

Centra has established testing similar to outpatient testing sites in Bedford, Farmville, Gretna and Lynchburg.

"One reason we chose to set up these clinics outside of patient care areas is to protect our employees and our community members as well," said Turner. "It provides a very easy opportunity to come and stay inside your car. You're not exposing anyone else."

To qualify for testing at a Centra outpatient site, patients have to meet certain criteria laid out by the Centers for Disease Control.

Those interested in testing are encouraged to visit their primary care physician first. Doctors can refer patients to the testing centers.

Patients can also call Centra's COVID-19 hotline at (434) 200-1225.

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