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Conemaugh offering drive-thru virus tests

Patients will also be tested for flu

JOHNSTOWN — Conemaugh Health System is testing patients for COVID-19 in a drive-thru test center at Conemaugh East Hills in Richland.

Currently, the test center will operate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, with hours subject to change based on testing needs. Patients need a provider’s order and an appointment to be tested; the service is not open to the public.

Area physicians received instructions on ordering and scheduling tests for patients, and on Thursday, 10 patient samples were collected and sent to a commercial lab for testing.

The drive-up site, located at the back entrance of the Conemaugh East Hills outpatient center at 1450 Scalp Ave., is staffed by registered nurses in full protective gear. By appointment, patients with a physician order can drive through the test area, covered by a large portico. The team will verify the patient’s identity and physician order, ask follow-up screening questions, and collect the sample using a nasopharyngeal swab. In addition to COVID-19, each patient will be tested for the flu. The ordering physician will contact the patient with results.

Patients with a physician order may make an appointment by calling Conemaugh Health System Central Scheduling at 534-9186.

Conemaugh also has announced that as soon as Friday, it will offer on-site lab analysis at the new molecular lab at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Franklin Street. Conemaugh is one of a limited number of non-commercial and non-academic laboratories approved for COVID-19 testing. Running a fully staffed lab operating seven days a week will greatly increase the speed and scope of testing.

The lab will be able to run 1,300 tests per week and will serve local providers as well as other partners.

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