UPDATED: More COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites open in Philadelphia area

Hospitals around the area offering COVID-19 testing for patients referred by their doctor

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Friday, March 20, 2020
Drive-thru testing locations opening around area
More drive-thru testing locations are opening up around the Philadelphia area.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As the number of coronavirus cases grows, more health care systems across the Philadelphia area are offering mobile testing.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 44 cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. Of those cases, 23 are between the ages 20-39, 13 are ages 40-59 and six are over 60.

Officials said there are 14 testing sites open in Philadelphia and by next week a total of 19 sites are expected.

There is currently a shortage of testing kits, so officials said they are only testing people who need it.

Local health departments recommend residents who have mild symptoms to stay at home. If you feel worse, contact your health care provider.

If you have severe symptoms - a fever over 100 degrees, shortness of breath, and cough - call your health care provider.

If you do not have a health care provider, call your local health department. In Pennsylvania, call the PA Department of Health at 1-877-PA-Health. In New Jersey, call the 24/7 COVID-19 public call center at 1-800-962-1253. In Delaware, call the Division of Public Health at 1-866-408-1899.

Jefferson Health tells Action News it has mobile testing sites at each of its major locations (Center City, Abington, Northeast Philadelphia and New Jersey) "to facilitate fast and effective drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing for Jefferson patients with physician-ordered tests." These tests are only for Jefferson patients with a doctor's referral.

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They already opened a temporary testing site at Abington Hospital for patients referred to by their Abington-Jefferson Health Primary Care Physician.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley is working with the government to open one or more large COVID-19 testing sites.

"If you are referred for testing by your physician, you will be scheduled for an appointment and provided instructions about the process to be seen at Abington Hospital's Temporary Testing Site," Abington Hospital said. "Please do not go to the Temporary Testing Site without a referral from your Abington - Jefferson Health physician."

Jefferson Health said these "testing locations are designed to help control infection and limit symptomatic patients (non-emergent) from entering enclosed care spaces such as crowded emergency rooms."

RELATED: Ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic at 6abc.com/coronavirus

Main Line Health and Penn Medicine are also offering drive-up testing for in-network patients referred to by their own hospital doctors.

Penn Medicine has drive-thru testing at its West Philadelphia and Radnor locations for those prescribed by a Penn physician. Testing is free for uninsured patients.

Main Line Health started drive-up tests at their offices in Radnor and Newtown Square. As stated above, it's for their patients who have been referred for testing by a Main Line Health physician.

You must have a referral from a doctor.

Temple Health is testing on its main campus. It says its emergency departments at Temple University Hospital, Jeanes Campus and Episcopal Campus do not offer routine coronavirus testing. "If you or someone you know is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for information on getting tested."

Multiple tents have been set up at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia to allow for future testing. But this site is not yet operational.

Pennsylvania Task Force 1 crews setting up at Citizens Bank Park as reported by Bob Brooks on Action News at 11 on march 17, 2020.

At a Thursday afternoon press conference in Philadelphia, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said he hopes to have the site operational by Friday afternoon.

The highest priority for that testing site is heath care workers then will serve others and are experiencing symptoms.

Montgomery County officials said a testing site will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 21 at Temple University's Ambler campus located in Upper Dublin Township. The site will remain open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily by appointment only, as testing supplies allow. Online registration will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20. A link to register will be available on www.montcopa.org/COVID-19, as well as official Montgomery County government social media accounts. Individuals without access to the internet or who do not have an email address can call (610) 631-3000 starting at 8:00 AM on Saturday to register for a testing appointment.

RELATED: Philadelphia Health Commissioner working with government to open large COVID-19 testing site

A parking lot at Camden County Community College has been turned into a coronavirus testing site, but the director of the County Freeholder Board says they're still waiting on test kits. Once they receive the test kits, officials say they'll be able to test 200 people every day at the location in Blackwood.

ChristianaCare opened a Provider Referral Center in New Castle County to provide coronavirus COVID-19 testing for individuals who are symptomatic and have received a prescription for testing from their doctor.

"It is not a walk-in facility. Only patients who have been referred by their doctor, made an appointment and are in possession of a testing order will be tested," the hospital said.

The testing is being done at commercial labs outside the state of Delaware. Turnaround time is two to five days, and ChristianaCare communicates the results to the patient's referring physician.

ChristianaCare held Delaware's first drive-through testing event on March 13. It does not have plans for a future public drive-through testing event.

Walgreens said it will dedicate temporary space at select locations, outside of the stores such as in parking lots, where non-Walgreens health personnel will administer COVID-19 testing.

"These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures, and Walgreens is honored to join the Administration, CMS, CDC and others in our industry to work together in providing access to government COVID-19 testing," said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president. "Collaboration with health officials, the government, and across our industry and other sectors is critical at this time. Walgreens has a long history of being there when our customers and communities need us most. We're continuing to work around the clock to support the health, safety and well-being of our customers, patients and team members."