3 urgent care facilities now offering drive-through coronavirus testing

Updated: Mar. 11, 2020 at 5:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Urgent Care Hawaii is the first private facility in the state to offer drive-through testing for the coronavirus.

There are three locations on Oahu offering tests: Pearl City, Kapolei and Kailua.

And the patient never has to go inside.

A big stop sign is on the door of one of the facilities, saying “Do Not Enter. Do not come in if you are coming in to get tested for COVID-19.”

Donna Schmidt, CEO of Urgent Care Hawaii, said the drive-through is a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“I didn’t want Pearl City Urgent Care to be a breeding ground for COVID-19 so we had to really figure out how we could stay open for business, treat the people who had ear infections, needed sutures, have sprains as well dealing with the people who needed to be tested,” Schmidt said.

Those seeking coronavirus testing are asked a series of questions, including if you’ve had contact with a person with a positive coronavirus test, if you’ve had a fever of 100.4 or higher, if you have a cough and what your travel history is. You don’t need a referral from your own doctor to get a test.

"Our job here is to determine who needs to be screened," said nurse practitioner Meagan Nolan.

Once you've filled out the forms, you put them in the file on an outside table, ring the door bell and go back to your car.

Then a medical professional comes out dressed in a mask, face shield, gloves and gown.

There's a nasal swab and throat swab. Both can be uncomfortable.

The tests for flu and strep are done in house. If those come back negative, the swabs go to Texas or North Carolina for COVID-19 testing.

"In as little as 48 hours, we can tell you whether or not you have coronavirus. In the meantime we would ask that you quarantine yourself at home and just supportive care," said Nolan.

Nolan says she’s never given anyone medical treatment in their car, but it’s all to protect the patient and everyone around them.

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